Beyoncé's bolthole investigated: Is billionaire Noam Gottesman’s helipad in Burley estate even legal?

 

Arts correspondent

Residents of Woolton Hill in Hampshire are used to celebrities causing a buzz in their otherwise sleepy village. This is due to its proximity to the Burley estate, a luxurious property owned by a billionaire hedge fund manager where guests regularly arrive by helicopter.

But it appears that the exclusive bolthole has now become so popular with visiting stars that the noise from the frequent low-flying air traffic is irritating residents – and has prompted a council investigation into whether its helipad is, in fact, legal.

Local resident Helen Carlile, who runs the WooltonHill.com site, told The Independent that her friends in the village “do talk about the helicopters and they are frustrated by them. It’s often late at night and very noisy. They seem to come in very low.”

She added: “I’m further away from the estate so I don’t hear it as much, but there are people in the village who are very bothered by it.”

Noam Gottesman, the co-founder of the hedge fund GLG Partners and who is believed to be worth about $2bn, according to Forbes, owns the Burley estate. The American singer Beyoncé, who stayed last year during her tour, is one of its many high-profile guests and is believed to have returned this year with her husband, Jay-Z.

“She was staying at the estate for a while and obviously on tour, so she was in and out every night,” Ms Carlile said. She added that residents claim to have spotted the global star in the local Mothercare. “Other celebrities are believed to come in, but Beyoncé is the one we’re most aware of.”

Burley’s owners are currently under investigation by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council after an allegation relating to whether a planning application had been made for a helipad. A spokeswoman confirmed that the estate was currently under scrutiny over two issues: a “change of use to a residential property without planning permission” and a “change of use to a commercial property [helicopter business] without planning permission”.

She added that as yet “no planning permission has been granted for a permanent helipad on the land”. She added: “We visited the site, met with the site and an enforcement case remains ongoing.”

The helicopter flights have caused annoyance to locals, coming in at irregular hours of the evening and early morning, although the council said it had received no complaints over the issue. “We always say they’re the noisy neighbours,” one resident told The Sunday Telegraph. “When they do stay here, it is very, very noisy because they come in low over the house. We have heard the helicopter come late at night and early in the morning.”

At the village pub, The Rampant Cat, one local said villagers were aware of the helicopters “every now and again”, but added that it did not bother them and it was “nice to have Beyoncé visiting”.

Mr Gottesman, who is reported to have dated actress Lucy Liu and is a renowned art collector, made headlines in the UK before the credit crunch when he sold his London home for £117m. Local residents have approached him recently as they are fundraising for the village hall.

“He has donated to things in the past,” Ms Carlile said, before adding that the secretive billionaire was hardly ever seen “out and about”. The estate in Hampshire is close to Highclere Castle, the setting for Downton Abbey. Nobody at the estate could be reached for comment.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

COO / Chief Operating Officer

£80 - 100k + Bonus: Guru Careers: A COO / Chief Operating Officer is needed to...

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits