Anna Friel gets go ahead to makeover her leaky £1m Georgian home near Windsor Castle and stop it rotting away from rainwater after previously falling foul of planning authorities

  • Anna Friel given permission for external refurbishment of her £1m Windsor home
  • Previously ordered to tear down an extension to her Grade II listed property
  • Was allowed to keep the extension after appealing so long as defects were fixed

Anna Friel has been allowed to give her leaky £1m Georgian home near Windsor Castle a makeover and stop it rotting away from rainwater.

But after she previously fell foul of planning authorities for ‘crude and basic’ work on the house, her neighbours have urged officials to keep a close eye on the works to make sure they comply with the rules.

The Marcella star was found to have acted ‘unreasonably’ in 2017 when she flouted planning consent when adding an extension on her elegant Grade II listed terraced townhouse.

The single-storey extension breached strict conservation guidelines by being built higher than the approved plans with exposed bricks facing a neighbouring property and missing parapets.

Anna Friel (pictured) has been allowed to give her leaky £1m Georgian home near Windsor Castle a makeover and stop it rotting away from rainwater

Friel, 45, was ordered to demolish the extension by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead but appealed to the Planning Inspectorate.

An inspector ruled that materials used in the single storey extension were out of keeping with the Grade II listed property, which lies in a designated conservation area, but allowed it to stay, as long as the defects were fixed.

Now the former Brookside star wants to carry out an external refurbishment and minor alterations to the historic three-storey home, which boasts an ornate cast iron balcony, and dates back to 1800.

Proposed works include refurbishment and redecoration of existing windows, a timber entrance door, metal work, a front elevation trellis and a front entrance gate.

She also wants to repair the rear elevation render and replace rotten timber substrate caused by water getting into the property.

Now the former Brookside star wants to carry out an external refurbishment and minor alterations to the historic three-storey home, which boasts an ornate cast iron balcony, and dates back to 1800

There will be repairs to an existing lead rolled flat roof to the rear extension, and re-bedding and redecoration of existing coping stones to the front steps.

Front garden flagstones will also be re-laid with ceramic tiles to the lower ground floor front lightwell.

In a heritage statement, her planning agent said: ‘It is known that these buildings (alongside other similar development in Windsor) were often occupied by people serving the Crown or drawn to Windsor by the court.

‘The proposals entail much-needed works to repair and refurbish the listed building to ensure that it can continue to function as a single family dwelling and to halt deterioration currently being caused by water ingress through the rear extension.

‘The works will not erode the heritage values of these assets and instead will amount to an aesthetic improvement to the site and will see for the building’s long-term conservation by removing risk.’

Friel bought the four-bedroom house eight years ago and in 2014 was granted planning permission for a single storey extension to include an en-suite shower room.

Proposed works include refurbishment and redecoration of existing windows, a timber entrance door, metal work, a front elevation trellis and a front entrance gate

She was also given consent to lower the ground floor level for extensive refurbishments, new windows and doors.

But she was then ordered to demolish the extension after complaints to the council about the building work.

She was given two months to tear it down but the deadline passed and she lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate.

In his report, Inspector Anthony Wharton said: ‘In my view this particular detailing has resulted in a crude and basic form of construction, well away from the standard of detailing and finish that one would expect on a Grade II listed building.

‘I consider that the materials and detailing of this part of the works as carried out is harmful to the integrity and character of the building, to its setting and to the other special architectural and historic features evident on the rear elevation.’

She also wants to repair the rear elevation render and replace rotten timber substrate caused by water getting into the property

But Mr Wharton conceded that ordering Friel to knock down the extension and start again was ‘excessive’ and gave her six months to carry out remedial works,

Officials at Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council gave the go-ahead for her latest plans after there were no objections from neighbours.

Planning officer Zishan Pervez ruled: ‘Although each individual property on the terrace has been subject to alterations since their original construction, the principal elevation of [the terrace] is almost completely unaltered.

‘At the rear of the property is The Long Walk. This is a distinctive landscape feature that forms part of the significant landscape setting to Windsor Castle as well as the surrounding townscape of which this feature is a significant part.

‘The proposed works would not cause harm to the heritage assets and conservation area.’

In a letter of support, a neighbour wrote: ‘It is hoped that experienced contractors are employed to carry out this specialist work and that it will be supervised by the architect.

‘It is also requested that the conservation department closely monitors progress in accordance with the approved documents as well as compliance with any conditions of the listed building consent.’

Rochdale-born Friel, mother of 16-year-old Gracie, named after Gracie Fields, was previously in relationships with fellow actors David Thewlis and Rhys Ifans, but recently split from her boyfriend of two years Mark Jarowski.

When her artist friend Kevin Thomas contacted her about painting her portrait, depicting the lockdown experience and objects that helped people through it – she sent him a photo of herself topless and clutching a watering can to cover her modesty.

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