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Mick Jagger forced by angry neighbours to move swimming pool to save trees
Contributed by: MARTIN DELGADO
Source: Dailymail
Posted on: November 11, 2007 01:45 MST
Filed under: Rock

Mick Jagger

When Sir Mick Jagger bought a down-at-heel 17th-Century mansion for £10million, he planned to transform it into a residence fit for a millionaire rock star.

At huge expense, he hired a team of designers and architects to turn it into the home of his dreams, complete with His and Her dressing rooms, a cavernous wine cellar and spacious staff accommodation.

But now he has discovered - in the words of the Rolling Stones classic - that You Can't Always Get What You Want.

For last night it emerged that 64-yearold Sir Mick and his American girlfriend L'Wren Scott have lost a battle with their neighbours over the fate of four magnolia trees.

The Rolling Stones fitness fanatic had wanted to chop them down to make way for a subterranean swimming pool.

But the proposal so infuriated other residents in the exclusive street in Chelsea, West London, that they bombarded the local council with letters of protest and organised a petition.

Now Sir Mick has agreed to shift the 28ft by 12ft pool to another site in the garden so that the magnolias can be preserved.

When Sir Mick acquired the 330-yearold Grade II listed building last year, friends said it would enable him to give up his apartment at Claridge's, which has been his London base for several years since his ex-wife Jerry Hall asked him to move out of the flat he owns next door to their former marital home overlooking the Thames at Richmond.

Sir Mick already has an extensive property portfolio, including a castle in the South of France and an estate on the Caribbean island of Mustique.

But his decision to rip out the interior of the Chelsea mansion, redesigning it as a family home to his personal specification, suggests he intends to spend a good deal of time there.

According to planning documents submitted to Kensington and Chelsea Council by architect Simon Hurst, a specialist in the redesign of historic buildings, the pool will be housed in a building resembling a Georgian orangery, its roof supported by neoclassical pillars decorated with Roman-style engravings.

The basement will be turned into a wine store, staff kitchen, study and playroom, with the couple's living space on the first and second floors featuring "new built-in furniture without backs" instead of free-standing tables and chairs. The third floor will have a nanny's room and five more bedrooms.

Although Sir Mick, who is worth about £200million, probably doesn't worry about fuel bills, he does appear keen to display his "green" credentials. All the water used in the house will be heated by solar panels on the roof.

Last night neighbours welcomed the decision to let the magnolias stay.

Sylviane Marty, manager of a sheltered housing complex next door, said: "We have 49 flats here and every one voted against the trees being removed. We need greenery in an area like this. Who cares about a swimming pool? If they want that kind of lifestyle they should go to Los Angeles."

Another campaigner, Annette Buch, said: "Trees are precious. It would have been very selfish to cut them down."

Although the battle of the magnolias is over, another potential problem is already looming for Sir Mick. Before work is allowed to begin, archaeologists may seek permission to search for medieval relics which they believe lie beneath the house.

An associate of Sir Mick said: "There was some concern several months ago about a few magnolia trees but this has been resolved to everyone's satisfaction."


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