U2 guitarist The Edge faces protests over plan to build five mansions on 156 acres in Malibu

Mary Wiesbrock, chairwoman of environmental group Save Open Space, claimed that The Edge was "bent on destroying" the natural area

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The Independent Online

Just a week after Bono raised eyebrows for defending Ireland’s controversial tax laws, The Edge is facing a Champagne socialist dilemma all of his own.

The U2 guitarist has found himself the target of a potential environmental protest as he moved to end his eight-year battle to be granted planning permission for a mansion development in Malibu.

The musician aims to build no less than five new residences on the 156 acres of land he owns that overlooks the Pacific Ocean on the Californian coastline.

The Coastal Commission of California originally rejected his application in 2011, but he has since put negotiations into motion and is awaiting a final decision from the body in January 2015.

The Edge, whose real name is the far less rock ‘n’ roll David Evans, argues that all five (count them) of his potential properties would be environmentally friendly.

Not so, say local environmentalists, who claim that the development would ruin the landscape and damage surrounding wildlife.


"You have to be respectful of the process. It is important and the property owners want to do the right thing," The Edge’s spokesperson, Fiona Hutton, told Sky News.

"They want to be able to build their homes in a way that protects the natural resources and the environment."

She went on to add that The Edge had agreed to build on a lower piece of land in order to preserve views of the coastline, and that he had "listened carefully" to the concerns of local relatives.

But Mary Wiesbrock, chairwoman of environmental group Save Open Space, claimed that The Edge was "bent on destroying" the area.

"Why mar this untouched view along our Malibu coast when there are many mansions for sale with beach-side access?" she questioned.

She went on to draw upon his Irish routes by comparing the project to a rich American building mansions on some of Ireland’s sites of natural beauty, like the Cliffs of Moher.

The Edge and his American-born wife, Morleigh Steinberg, bought the land in 2005.

The couple, who have two children together, live between properties in New York, France and Los Angeles.