In a recent decision, Richard Caring, the renowned restaurant and nightclub tycoon, has been instructed to remove three windows from his opulent £40 million mansion located in South Kensington, London. This ruling comes after a contentious battle with the local council.
Council Rejects Caring’s Appeal
The 75-year-old billionaire, known for owning esteemed establishments such as the Ivy, J Sheekey, Sexy Fish restaurants, and the exclusive private members’ club Annabel’s, along with his wife, Patricia, faced a setback when their appeal against the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s decision was denied.
Controversy Surrounding ‘Excessive’ Windows
Approximately a year ago, the council determined that the windows in Caring’s Park House were “excessive in size,” had been installed “without planning permission,” and failed to “preserve the character and appearance” of the conservation area in which the expansive 13,400 sq ft mansion is situated.
Elizabeth Pleasant, a planning inspector, revealed that she had received numerous complaints from neighboring residents, primarily concerning the impact of the large dormer windows on their privacy and the issue of light pollution. While she concluded that there was “no harm to the living conditions of neighboring residents,” she refused to grant planning permission for these “substantial” windows due to their size and design, noting that they dominated the mansion’s roof and had a detrimental effect on its overall design quality.
The Ongoing Six-Year Feud
This latest development adds another chapter to a longstanding feud between the Caring family and their neighbors, which has spanned six years. Notably, in the previous year, Richard Caring faced backlash from residents for temporarily closing a main road to facilitate the planting of numerous trees on the grounds of his mansion.
The Caring couple now has a six-month deadline to remove the windows, despite their plea for a more extended timeline. Caring expressed his hope for a future agreement with the council that aligns with the mansion’s architectural style.
In a statement from last year’s appeal, Caring’s wife argued that the windows were “well-designed, being appropriately proportioned and detailed to accord with the general Victorian character of the wider conservation area.”
A Luxurious Mansion in the Spotlight
Situated on a one-acre plot near the heart of South Kensington, the mansion replaces a 19th-century cottage that previously belonged to German industrialist heir Gert-Rudolf Flick. The opulent residence boasts six bedrooms, a swimming pool, a gym, and beauty treatment and steam rooms, making it a prominent fixture in the neighborhood.