Cate Blanchett ditches Cornwall building plans amid neighbor backlash

Cate Blanchett ditches Cornwall building plans amid neighbor backlash

Cate Blanchett has abandoned some building plans at her £5million holiday home in Cornwall following backlash from neighbours over ‘noisy’ renovations.

The Aussie actress, 55, and her husband Andrew Upton bought and demolished a cottage in Mawgan Porth in 2020 to make way for their four-bedroom eco-home.

She then purchased an additional plot of land in the hopes of turning it into a driveway and parking for the home, leading to accusations of a ‘blatant land grab’.

The additional parking plans sparked a row with some neighbours, with one accusing her of ‘destroying’ holidays with the ‘noisy’ building works in a complaint.

Now, Cate is said to have ditched her plans to turn the field, which is being used as a construction compound during renovations, into a new access and parking area.

Cate Blanchett (pictured) has abandoned building plans at her £5million holiday home in Mawgan Porth, Cornwall, following backlash from neighbours over 'noisy' renovations

Cate Blanchett (pictured) has abandoned building plans at her £5million holiday home in Mawgan Porth, Cornwall, following backlash from neighbours over ‘noisy’ renovations

The Tár actress has formally withdrawn the additional plans in a letter to Cornwall Council, which gave no reason for the decision, according to The Sun.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Cate’s representatives for comment. 

Cate’s proposed driveway and car park was to give her and her guests level access into the hilltop pad from the rear, saving them from trekking up flights of steps at the front. 

In a past statement, her planning agent said: ‘The proposed re-development of [the house] and its replacement was driven by the desire to make a more efficient use of this unique site, and to provide a sustainable dwelling that can be enjoyed by the applicant’s multi-generational family.

‘The applicants purchased the field site separately and subsequent to the purchase of [the house] specifically to ensure that the land was not developed with housing that could potentially encroach upon the amenities of their new home, which is sat within a comparatively constrained plot area when compared with others in the area.

The Aussie actress, 55, bought and demolished a cottage in Mawgan Porth in 2020 to make way for their four-bedroom eco-home, and later bought another field to turn into a car park

 The Aussie actress, 55, bought and demolished a cottage in Mawgan Porth in 2020 to make way for their four-bedroom eco-home, and later bought another field to turn into a car park 

‘The driveway and parking area has been designed sensitively to minimise visual impact from surrounding vistas, helping the wider field to remain as a key landscape feature with every attempt made to blend the access seamlessly into the landscape.

‘Within the wider landscape, the proposed access and parking area would not have a significant landscape impact and would not result in an unacceptable change in character of the land.’

But the now-withdrawn application exasperated long-term residents, who claimed they were priced out of the area and are forced to endure constant building works.

Karen Burgess, who owns a neighbouring holiday let, alleged that ‘noise’ from the construction has ‘destroyed’ the holidays of her guests across the past year.

In a complaint filed to Cornwall Council’s planning portal, she claimed to have lost £60,000 in rental revenue due to the construction, Cornwall Live reported.

But the additional parking plans sparked a row with some neighbours, with one accusing Cate (pictured) of 'destroying' holidays with the 'noisy' renovations in an official complaint

But the additional parking plans sparked a row with some neighbours, with one accusing Cate (pictured) of ‘destroying’ holidays with the ‘noisy’ renovations in an official complaint

She claimed she is still having to advertise her holiday home as being impacted by construction noise, but architect firm Watershedd insisted the noise is coming from another development rather than Cate’s.

In her January objection to the plans, she reportedly said: ‘I am deeply concerned that there has already been a total disregard for the noise that has destroyed the family holidays of all my guests […] throughout 2023.

‘The losses are more than £60,000 last year and still we are having to advertise as a property effected by building noise, we thought [Blanchett’s property] work was finally over and now there is a new application for ground works, this work should NOT be permitted during the holiday season.

‘Never before in the bay, have we ever experienced such a blatant disregard for the people who flock here for their holidays and residents’ enjoyment of the area during the holiday season.’

Now, the Tár actress (pictured) has formally withdrawn the parking plans in a letter to Cornwall Council, which gave no reason for the decision, according to reports

Now, the Tár actress (pictured) has formally withdrawn the parking plans in a letter to Cornwall Council, which gave no reason for the decision, according to reports

However, a spokesperson for Watershedd – the architect firm behind Cate’s build – denied her claims and said the noise was coming from other nearby developments.

They told Cornwall Live: ‘She cannot be referring to our clients’ property where there were no noisy works during the peak holiday period last year, once again, our clients’ property has been mistaken for other works going on in Mawgan Porth.’

The firm added that it is has been in regular communication with neighbours to lessen any concerns around construction noise and answer any questions.

When construction on Cate’s three-storey home is finished, it will boast a basement swimming pool and showers, as well as an area for surfboards and wetsuits.

At ground floor, it will have four bedrooms including a ‘bunk’ room with a first floor living room, kitchen, dining room, double-sided fireplace, terrace and walled garden.

Mawgan Porth (pictured, stock image) has been nicknamed 'Hollywood-On-Sea' by locals because of its new-found popularity with celebrities

Mawgan Porth (pictured, stock image) has been nicknamed ‘Hollywood-On-Sea’ by locals because of its new-found popularity with celebrities

A green sedum roof will have special boulder features to blend in with the beach below.

The village of Mawgan Porth has been dubbed ‘Hollywood-on-Sea’ after actors Jason Statham, Jason Momoa and Jamie Dornan were also said to have snapped up holiday homes there.

Locals are upset by the influx of multimillionaires and say ‘Cornwall’s best kept secret’ is on the brink of being overrun by second homeowners who are knocking down traditional 1930s bungalows to build ‘James Bond-esque Lego blocks’ which nobody can afford.

Former military medic Emma Keelan, 45, claimed she was forced out of the village after 20 years living there and into temporary accommodation during Covid when her landlord decided to turn the rental property into a holiday let.

The dog walker said: ‘It’s unbelievable how all these Celebrities and wealthy people behave. How much is enough? They’ve bought the houses for crazy amounts of money but they just want more and more.

The seaside village - called 'Cornwall's best kept secret' - is located on the north coast of Cornwall close to Newquay

The seaside village – called ‘Cornwall’s best kept secret’ – is located on the north coast of Cornwall close to Newquay

‘If they get permission for this what next? Normal people already can’t afford to live here any more, look how it is in the winter, it’s a ghost town.

‘When I first moved here in 2002 there was livestock grazing the fields on that clifftop, now there’s just big houses that are empty for most of the year. I’m sorry but I get so emotional about this.’

Another resident, who has lived in Mawgan Porth for 18 years but didn’t want to be named, previously said: ‘The whole situation with that road is a mess. It’s the lorries coming up and down, it’s a never ending building site.

‘It’s pretty grim to be honest. In the time I’ve been here it’s changed 100%. It’s not on really, especially when she doesn’t live here year round.

‘None of them live here full-time but it’s a non-stop building site, it’s not really fair to the people that do.

Cate and her husband Andrew Upton (pictured) bought the former cottage for £1.6million in December 2020, and then shelled out £1.25million a year later for the adjoining field

Cate and her husband Andrew Upton (pictured) bought the former cottage for £1.6million in December 2020, and then shelled out £1.25million a year later for the adjoining field

‘Cate does support the community, her and her family go to the surf school and they’re actually really sound people.

‘But how much more do you need? She got permission for what she got but now wants more. It’s grim but I can’t see this situation ever stopping in our lifetime.’

Land Registry records show that Cate bought the former cottage for £1.6million in December 2020, and then shelled out £1.25million a year later for the adjoining field.

Cate also owns a £5million country estate near Crowborough, East Sussex, where she also bought up land next door – a £1.5million farmhouse with 100 acres.

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