AdviceCeleb Spots

Jude Law proves it pays to be nice to your neighbours

As celebrities continue to buy up and excavate period properties across London’s swanky postcodes, piles of planning applications mount up at London’s boroughs’ planning offices. And next to them, piles of objections from local residents. They object not only to the deluge of celebs invading their turf, but to their extravagant renovation plans too.

Jude Law has proved to be the exception to the celeb rule after he was recently granted planning permission to damp-proof his house, install new windows at the rear of the property, and build a new staircase, as well as plans to extend the existing basement conversion at his multi-million pound, Grade II listed Highgate house.

Law, who stars in the film adaptation of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina alongside Keira Knightley, bought his Georgian house in 2010 for a reported £8million and has big plans for the place. It may have taken a year for the plans to be approved, but the point is, they were approved and without a single objection – unheard of in the world of celebrity home improvements.

On a lighter note David (his real first name) is on a bit of an eco-trip, he is having solar panels installed on the rear roof slope of the property – green credentials, tick.

Amid concerns that Jude’s basement would be yet another mega basement, his PA promptly sent invitations to his neighbours. Inviting them to a soiree where upon he persuaded them that his basement plans were in fact rather small and would therefore cause little disruption to the local community. Jude has proven that talking to your neighbours, getting them involved, really does work.

It’s not just about getting permissions to begin work, a good relationship with your neighbours at the start of a project can make all the difference down the line. Even if your improvement project doesn’t require planning permission it always pays to make your neighbours aware of any work in advance, especially if your property is part of a communal block or a terrace where you may need to gain emergency access to your neighbours’ properties for plumbing and electrical work.

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