Billionaire tycoon Christian Candy’s plans to transform part of a road outside his London mansion into a garden have been given the go-ahead following a year-long battle.
Camden Council previously rejected the property developer’s plans to return part of the one-way street on Chester Gate into an “historic garden”.
Mr Candy’s development team said in September it was “extremely disappointed” with the decision and said there would be an appeal.
Jonathan Hockley, the planning inspectorate, last week reversed the decision, saying Mr Candy’s plans would “undoubtedly enhance” both the character and appearance of the conservation area.
The case centres around a 200ft long piece of land on Chester Gate, adjacent to 6-10 Cambridge Terrace in Regent’s Park which Mr Candy has permission to convert into three luxury homes.
He took out a 150-year lease on the strip of land with the hope of returning part of the one-way street into a “historic garden”.
Mr Candy’s team supplied a survey from 1834 which provided “beyond reasonable doubt” that the garden was part of the original layout and the Crown Estates Paving Commission stated it believed the original garden existed.
However, locals were furious at the plans with more than 30 people objecting.
In September, following months of consultations, the proposals went to a planning meeting at Camden Council.
Neighbour Francesca Cordeiro (corr) produced evidence by leading Nash expert and Oxford University professor Dr Geoffrey Tyack which claimed the garden was never actually proposed by the famous architect.
They also claimed the garden, which would take over part of the road, would create gridlock for motorists.
Camden Council threw out the proposals, with ten of the 12 councillors objecting, but Jonathan Hockley, the planning inspectorate, has now reversed the decision.
He wrote: “Whilst the garden has been missing from the street scene since at least 1895, the proposal, subject to conditions concerning detailed design would be rectifying an alteration.
“I do not consider therefore that the proposal would detract from Regent’s Park or the surrounding neighbouring terraces by imposing a spurious version of a garden upon a historic urban landscape.
“Whilst I agree with the comments of the eminent Dr Geoffrey Tyack that interference with the terraces and their immediate surroundings should be kept to a minimum, the proposal would be reinstating a missing feature.”
Mr Hockley added: “I therefore conclude that the proposed reinstatement of historic garden would preserve the special architectural and historical interest of the Grade II listed building, its setting, and would enhance the character and appearance of the Regent’s Park Conservation Area.”
He also dismissed fears the garden would lead to a risk to highway safety.