Rural neighbours condemn comedian's modern home plan

Comedian Rowan Atkinson divided opinion with plans to build a futuristic home in the middle of the countryside.





Award-winning American architect Richard Meier was tasked with creating a new home for the Blackadder star, in what would be his first project in Britain.



The modern five-bedroom, glass-fronted home would sit in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty near the village of Ipsden in Oxfordshire - but neighbours there voiced their objections, saying it would look out of place.



It would be built on the site of Handsmooth House, a 1930s building which would have to be demolished to make way for its modern replacement.



Resident Emma Hulbert said: "This application proposes an ultra-modern house which dominates the surrounding landscape. While the modern architecture may be appropriate in London, it is wholly inappropriate to the rural landscape."



The local parish council also stepped in, saying the planned development, which would also feature a two-bedroom guest pavilion and tennis court set in six hectares of land, would be "conspicuous and look out of character and place".



Others have been keen to back the plan however, with architect Lord Richard Rogers praising Meier as "the greatest designer of houses today".



In a letter to South Oxfordshire District Council, which will make a decision on the planning application in September, he said: "The house, like all of Richard's best buildings, belongs to the classical tradition in architecture.



"The eroded white cuboid is carefully ordered in terms of scale, play of light and shadow, proportion and interlocking spaces."



He cites the example of St Paul's Cathedral as a building that faced opposition when it was built, adding: "All good architecture is modern in its time and is often shocking".



The new three-storey home would be "immensely energy efficient" and replace "a bland, uninspiring and unattractive collection of buildings", Meier claims in his application. He concludes that the new building would honour "history, context, and the future of our planet."



Neighbours have until August 13 to submit their views on the plans.



Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the world's leading suppliers and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Multiple Apprentices Required

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...

Sauce Recruitment: HR Manager

£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...

Ashdown Group: Interim HR Manager - 3 Month FTC - Henley-on-Thames

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore