Westminster councillors have gone against its officers’ advice and allowed artist Damien Hirst to proceed with a huge basement extension designed by Purcell at his grade I-listed John Nash villa
The Bristol-born poster boy of the Young British Artists has been given the go-ahead an underground gallery at the six-storey 1820s home on Hanover Terrace on the west side of Regent’s Park in London.
Westminster Council planners had recommended that the two-storey basement should be refused because of the likelihood that 19 of 30 trees on the site will be destroyed.
Their report said: ‘Given its size and proximity to existing trees the proposed basement is considered to be unacceptable in arboricultural and landscaping terms.’
The plans were altered to remove 11 skylight windows which would have allowed natural light into the basement, after concerns were raised by Historic England.
Hirst, who bought the mansion last year, has also been given permission to make alterations to the main house, including the replacement of a bay window installed in 1912, as well as the removal of some internal partition walls.
The scheme will also see the demolition of a former gardener’s cottage and its replacement by a building hosing a large lift to transport art works.
Hanover Terrace, part of the Regent’s Park Conservation Area, forms part of John Nash’s Crown Estate development ringing the park.
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