Sherlock Holmes actor Benedict Cumberbatch has sparked fury among his neighbours after applying for planning permission to build a giant shed in his back garden.
The 41-year-old bought the five-bed Victorian villa in Camden for £2.7 million in April 2015 but has yet to move in.
Neighbours have described Cumberbatch’s plans to build a 20ft x 8ft shed in the garden as a “massive over-development on the urban equivalent of the Green Belt”.
The shed will cover an area of 15 square metres and will be clad in timber and overlaid with a timber trellis to the front and sides, which will support climbing plants.
The plans state that the roof will be a planted green roof using sedum, a flowering plant, which aims to help blend the structure into its surroundings.
“In this case the sedum will be considered as a successional stage that will lead in time to a more biodiverse roof. Bare areas will be left to naturally regenerate with sedum or other naturally colonising vegetation such as grasses,” the plans state.
The plans claim the shed would be partially screened by existing timber trellises and that no issue of privacy or overlooking is expected to arise.
But the Dartmouth Park Conservation Area Advisory Committee has opposed the plans, saying the structure is too big to be called a shed.
A spokesman said: “This ‘shed’ is in fact a large construction across almost the entire width of the property at the bottom of the garden. It protrudes above the boundary wall. It has timber-glazed windows across the wall facing the garden, suggesting it could have many uses as an extension to the main building.”
One neighbour told the Daily Mail that the proposed shed was actually a large pavilion, adding: “There are strict policies regarding the loss of open space, either private or public, and this is not a small wooden shed that could be put up or taken down in a day. It is a permanent building on green space which rightly enjoys protection.”
Another neighbour added: “We’ve put up with his building project for the best part of two years now. It is dragging on and on. Why can’t he just go to B&Q, get a little pre-pack number and knock it up himself on a Sunday afternoon? What on earth does he need yet more room for?”
Last year, the actor won planning permission to convert the attic into another bedroom, build a new balcony on the upper ground four level and also install a “plant room” – complete with boiler – at the front of his semi-detached home.
He was also granted permission for a rear extension to the property.
DealMakerz is baffled that anyone outside of the building trade would need such a large shed in their garden. Perhaps Cumberbatch has a secret passion for woodwork?
Celebrities in London are constantly irritating their neighbours with large building projects, but this has to be one of the strangest, and least glamorous, that we’ve seen so far.