Sir Charles Dunstone, aged 57 – founder of the Carphone Warehouse – and his 36-year-old wife, Celia, have new plans for the £20 million mansion in Holland Park. Sir Charles founded the Carphone Warehouse in 1989 and is worth around £830 million.
They have plans to construct a huge basement extension beneath their house, to include a storage space, wine cellar, shower room and play area for their three young children within this basement.
However, nearby neighbours have protested saying that they have already suffered enough – they have tolerated years of noise and dust from the various constructions that have been carried out on the house. This includes an underground gym and pool which Sir Charles and Lady Celia built beneath the land that they own behind their Victorian Villa.
When writing to the Kensington and Chelsea Council, Sir Charles said that he and his family need more space. However, Bijan Ghavimi, a representative of the nearby Redlynch Court apartment block, has struck an objection to the founder’s extension plans.
Mr Ghavimi believes that Sir and Lady Dunstone are attempting to merge the two properties that they own on Holland Park through these underground basements.
An anonymous neighbour, who has been living in a nearby property for the past three years, has said:
“I am tired of the constant noise and dust pollution flowing throughout the neighbourhood, and the continuous sound of drilling is horrible! When they had been building the pool, there was endless drilling going on, and in the end, it just gets on your nerves.
“They already have a massive house! Why do they need to be making it bigger?”
However, Sir Charles has expressed that he does not see the problem:
“All I am proposing is a simple, one-storey basement. It is within Kensington and Chelsea’s building guidelines and will fully be in compliance with all strict obligations that they have on construction noise, dust and disturbance.
“We have estimated that the construction will be completed in 14 months from start to finish.”
Snell David Architects have come to the conclusion that the extension will help enhance ‘family life’.
The architects have stated in their submitted documents:
“The applicants have asked us to look at ways in which the construction plans could be developed to improve the property in a way that is appropriate for their young family.
“They want to redevelop the existing property to provide an underground playroom, wine storage and other additional rooms.”
A decision has not yet been made.
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