Damon Albarn, the iconic frontman of Blur and the Gorillaz, finds himself entangled in a dispute with his parish council over recent modifications made to his South Devon farmhouse, which could get him into big trouble.
As reported by Daily Mail, Damon has drawn criticism for installing a heat pump without obtaining planning permission near a public footpath within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in South Hams.
Adding fuel to the fire, Albarn also ran afoul of planners by using wooden cladding instead of the approved metal cladding on a refurbished workshop and studio. Now, seeking to enhance his privacy and protect against inclement weather, he is seeking approval to install glazed doors with sliding shutters on the ground floor.
Albarn’s parish council articulated their concerns in a formal letter to the planners, shedding light on several key issues. Notably, they pointed out that the planning officer initially raised objections to the use of charred larch cladding due to potential adverse effects on the property’s historical and environmental significance. The council expressed disappointment with Albarn’s retrospective applications, as such submissions typically receive a tepid response.
They went even further and criticized the placement of the heat pump outside the designated area, asserting that it not only visually disrupts the landscape but also causes acoustic disturbances along the footpath, despite the availability of alternative locations.
Despite the reservations expressed by the parish council, the South Hams District Council ultimately granted retrospective consent for both the heat pump and the cladding. The farmhouse, reportedly valued at nearly £1.5 million, has undergone various approved modifications as part of the ongoing process.
What will happen next? Well, we’ll see. Something tells me that money might talk here and Damon Albarn surely does have a lot of it, so he may get away pretty swiftly with this one. We’ll keep an eye out.