Former PM Tony Blair and wife Cherie win appeal to extend Aylesbury Vale mansion despite environmental objection

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The application was originally refused in 2021

Former PM Tony Blair and his wife Cherie have won an appeal to extend their Aylesbury Vale mansion, two years after an application was rejected by Bucks Council.

The couple seeked permission to extend the guesthouse at Wotton House in Buckinghamshire.

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Wotton House is a Grade I-listed building that was constructed in the 18th century and has been owned by actors, historians and politicians throughout its history.

Tony Blair in New York in 2021 (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images for Concordia Summit)Tony Blair in New York in 2021 (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images for Concordia Summit)
Tony Blair in New York in 2021 (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images for Concordia Summit)

National charity, the Gardens Trust, which was formed to protect historic gardens objected to the Blairs’ planned renovation.

Bucks Council concluded that the design of the roof in the Blair’s plans would dominate the overall appearance of the building and that the proposal would bring no benefits to the public. Also, the council felt the Blairs’ tampering would affect the historic context of the building and its surrounding parkland.

In its objection The Gardens Trust referenced over extensions to the Lodge Farm alongside the famous building. Mentioning the recently constructed tennis courts, play areas, and sports pavillion on the site, saying that cumulatively further extensions would damage the overall aesthetic.

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The trust concluded that the building was not historically appropriate.

In upholding the appeal the Planning Inspectorate representing the Government found that the Blairs’ were taking a rational approach to extending their property, and challenged the local authority on how specifically the new design would damage the famous building’s appeal.

The appeal was upheld with amendments to the Blairs’ initial bid making it less intrusive to the kitchen garden.

In a statement provided to the Daily Mail on Sunday representatives for the former Prime Minister and his wife, said: “No neighbours objected. The extension is to a cottage built 20 years ago. It isn't listed.”

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It is said that since leaving Downing Street the Blairs have acquired a property empire roughly valued at £35 million.

They have owned the house since 2008 and paid a reported £4 million to purchase the manor, that was previously owned by theatre legend, Sir John Gielgud.

Previously residents in Wotton Underwood criticised the famous couple for building a sports pavilion outside the famous home, one said they had ‘blighted’ the area.