The Edge vs the people of Malibu

U2 guitarist upsets his neighbours with plans to build five luxury homes

He is one of rock music's most principled stars, nobly fighting poverty in Africa, lobbying for world peace, and saving the planet. But U2's David Evans may have finally picked a fight too far: against America's wealthiest Nimbys.

The guitarist, better known by his stage name The Edge, has upset residents of Malibu, the seaside city north of Los Angeles, by attempting to build five new luxury homes on a pristine hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Neighbours in Sierra Canyon, an exclusive district inhabited by the likes of Dick Van Dyke, Kelsey Grammer, and James Cameron, have launched a noisy campaign against the development, which they claim will "permanently scar" the landscape.

Evans, a supposed environmentalist, is accused of wanting to flatten the top of a mountain, put a road through slide-prone areas, and move 70,000 cubic yards of earth for construction of the "McMansions" which will boast views of the world-famous Surfrider Beach.

Critics claim his construction will harm wildlife, cause noise and dust pollution, add to land erosion and run a water pipe through pristine wilderness.

"The downside of this is a permanently scarred mountainside, for the benefit of a very few, that for many years all will view," Jefferson Wagner, a Malibu councilman, told the Los Angeles Times. "For somebody so revered even to be orchestrating this type of development in such a sensitive area is hypocritical."

Evans intends to live in one of the new properties, a four-bedroom house called "Leaves in the Wind". Another will go to his partner in the construction project, the Irish property developer Derek Quinlan. The three that remain will be sold on the open market.

That, however, will require it to get rubber-stamped next month by the California Coastal Commission, who admit to "significant concerns" about the development after receiving a raft of complaints from worried locals.

"All of us believe [U2] is a band that's going to save the world, that has brought attention to so many disasters on the planet. Then, when it comes to the little things, they would just tip-toe around and do stuff that's not quite right," a resident, Candace Brown, said.

She said bad blood had existed between Evans and his neighbours since the local archery club, "an institution in Malibu", was evicted from its practice grounds on the property, which he'd brought for $15m in 2006.

Another neighbour, Scott Wilder, told the LA Weekly that he objected to aspects of The Edge's rock-star lifestyle. "There was one occasion when his enormous tour bus stopped dead on the road to my house, blocking it," he said. "I asked the driver to move, but he said I'd have to wait, as he didn't want to interrupt The Edge and Axl Rose [a fellow Malibu resident], who were in an intense discussion at the back of the bus."

Evans has owned a different home in Malibu for a decade. With his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, he also keeps properties in Manhattan, the south of France, and Dublin. Like the rest of U2, he controversially chooses to pay taxes in the Netherlands.

"These homes will be some of the most environmentally sensitive ever designed in Malibu, or anywhere," Evans said, in response to critics."I'm disappointed that certain critics either don't have the facts or have ulterior motives."

Suggested Topics
Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
Life & Style
life
Arts & Entertainment
Back in the suit: There are only so many variations you can spin on the lives or adventures of Peter Parker
filmReview: Almost every sequence and set-up in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 seems familiar from some earlier superhero film
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon in Game of Thrones
tv
Life & Style
Father and son: Michael Williams with son Edmund
lifeAs his son’s bar mitzvah approaches, CofE-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys he’s experienced in learning about his family’s other faith
Arts & Entertainment
Ian Anderson, the leader of British rock band Jethro Tull, (right) and British guitar player Martin Barre (left) perform on stage
musicJethro Tull frontman leads ‘prog rock’ revival
Sport
Gareth Bale dribbled from inside his own half and finished calmly late in the final to hand Real a 2-1 win at the Mestalla in Valencia
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Who laughs lass: Jenny Collier on stage
comedy... writes Jenny Collier, the comedian whose recent show was cancelled because there were 'too many women' on the bill
News
House proud: keeping up with the Joneses now extends to children's playhouses
newsLuxury playhouses now on the market for as much as £800
News
news
Life & Style
Stir it up: the writer gets a lichen masterclass from executive chef Vivek Singh of the Cinnamon restaurants
food + drinkLichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines
Extras
indybest
Arts & Entertainment
Ken Loach (left) and Mike Leigh who will be going head to head for one of cinema's most coveted prizes at this year's Cannes Film Festival
filmKen Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
News
The academic, Annamaria Testa, has set out on her website a list of 300 English words that she says Italians ought to stop using
newsAcademic speaks out against 'Italianglo' - the use of English words in Italian language
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Apprentice IT Technician

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...

1st Line Technical Service Desk Analyst IT Apprentice

£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...

1st Line Helpdesk Engineer Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...

Sales Associate Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit