Footballer's £4.5M 'palace' gets 'red card' from residents

Footballer's £4.5M 'palace' gets 'red card' from residents


A Premiership footballer has been granted planning permission for a new home, much to the dismay of his new neighbours.

Tottenham and England striker Jermain Defoe will build a customised £4.5 million "palace", complete with its own nightclub despite fierce opposition from residents, who feel that the footballer was given preferential treatment by planning authorities.

Locals are particularly apprehensive about the plans because they live yards from the old Epping Forest.

Resident Suzanne Calder, 48, a recruitment consultancy director, told the London Evening Standard: "I'm very worried about what it might do to the value of my property.

"I couldn't even get planning permission for a driveway. I'm gobsmacked it was granted. Talk about one rule for some and one for another."

Nevertheless, planners have passed the scheme to demolish the neo-Georgian manor which now stands on the site in Chigwell, Essex, and build the new property - which will have a hair salon, an underground swimming pool and a giant outdoor hot tub.

According to the Standard, documents also reveal plans for a gym, games room and several five-a-side football pitches.

Neighbours fear 28-year-old Defoe's proposals will encourage antisocial behaviour in the village, where residents include Apprentice star Alan Sugar and three-time world snooker champion Ronnie O'Sullivan.

John Evans, 55, who owns a nightclub in Shoreditch, said he was against the soccer star's plans because he came to live in Chigwell to get away from the busy London nightlife scene.

"I wouldn't fancy a nightclub - it's very quiet around here," he added. "I imagine there's nothing we can do if his application's been approved, but we came to Chigwell for peace and quiet."

Papers lodged with Epping Forest council are in the name of Defoe's mother, Sandra St Helen, 46, who is from the Caribbean island of St Lucia.
The news came 24 hours after it emerged that Defoe had put his Hertfordshire home on the market for £3.75 million. That mansion, which is in the village of Cuffley, also has a gym, plus a cinema and games room.

The Chigwell property is a significant upgrade from the Hertfordshire residence which covers just 7,000sq ft.

Despite being a teetotaller, striker Defoe, who has scored 15 goals for England, is a regular at West End nightclubs.

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