Victoria and David Beckham, the British couple famous for their careers in fashion, football and pop, have embroiled in a furious argument with their neighbors over their plan to dig a 45,000 square foot ornamental lake in their backyard.
The couple live in a historic country house on a small, single-track road a few hundred yards from the entrance to Soho Farmhouse, the club’s country outpost for Soho House members only.
The club is already unpopular with many residents of the nearby village of Great Tew, who snip that the LDF – “down London” – are recklessly passing through the village and its surroundings. In the complicated politics of the village, there are others who support the club, take advantage of its lavish facilities and welcome it as an employer.
When Meghan and Harry rented a property in Great Tew, they became the subject of irritation among those who say the village was overwhelmed by the influx of celebrities.
Some of that irritation has now been projected onto the Beckhams who bought their $ 8 million home several years ago.
The Beckhams have already won a series of planning battles with their neighbors, as they converted a traditional farmhouse into 21st Century-old luxury hide-and-seek, with caretaker’s house, wine cellar and sauna.
They had previously obtained permission to create a 28,000 square foot ornamental lake in their garden, but have now asked the West Oxfordshire District Council if they could increase the size of the lake and add an artificial island.
The Beckhams promise the new larger lake will increase biodiversity in the area, saying the lake expansion proposals will recreate a classic English prairie scene.
In a design statement reported by the Daily Telegraph They said the lake would be surrounded by dozens of different types of grass, wildflowers, shrubs, bushes and trees, adding, “The mixture will bloom all summer long, giving bees, hoverflies and butterflies a feast of nectar and pollen. “
The lake will also have an underground chamber – known as the hibernaculum – to help support reptiles, amphibians, and hedgehogs.
However, some residents are not convinced of the merits of the plan and fear that having a huge body of water on their doorstep could lead to flooding.
the Telegraph reports that an objector named Sue Jones wrote in a letter to district council: “I must oppose in the strongest terms this new proposal. I think his lake expansion project could significantly increase the risk of flooding in the region.
“I was an opponent of the original plan and my concerns were ignored,” Jones wrote in his letter: “The lake seems too big for the area it is in. It does not match the area and what do you expect next? Motorboats going up and down and breaking the peace? It’s just not enabled and shouldn’t be allowed.
Another neighbor also criticized the plans, accusing the couple of “trying to bring the suburbs back to the countryside”.
Other residents called the lake “ugly,” “monstrous” and “irrelevant” to its surroundings, the newspaper reports.
West Oxfordshire District Council is due to make its decision on extending the lake in the new year.
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