Formula One ace Lewis Hamilton risks angering his neighbours yet again by planning to chop down and trim historic trees at his London home.
The racing driver, 37, bought his palatial £18million mansion five years ago and has allegedly yet to set foot in it while it has a grand overhaul.
There has been various planning battles with local residents over his renovations in one of the capital’s most desirable conservation areas.
Tension: Formula One ace Lewis Hamilton risks angering his neighbours yet again by chopping down and trimming historic trees at his London home
House: The racing driver, 37, bought his palatial £18million mansion five years ago and has allegedly yet to set foot in it while it has a grand overhaul
The extensive building work includes a rear extension, summer house and new frontage with a larger security wall and gates.
Now, he risks angering neighbours yet again with proposals put to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to knock down and prune historic trees.
His garden design team, led by Florian McLaren at Highland Aboriculture, want to trim a Horse Chestnut tree by two metres, with the application form stating the changes are ‘to reduce shading and reduce loading on regrowth points’.
Despite the tree being under a Tree Preservation Order, Hamilton won council approval.
Planning work: There has been various planning battles with residents over his renovations in one of the capital’s most desirable conservation areas. Pictured: Inside the property
A neighbour backing onto Hamilton’s property supported the application, saying that the large trees can leave ‘pigeon droppings’ all over their garden.
They asked for ‘as many as possible of the horizontal branches, that hang over our property, be pruned back?’, adding that ‘the pigeon droppings in that corner can be a nuisance’.
In a separate application to the council, which yet to be approved, Hamilton also wants to chop down an Amelanchier tree, also known as a shadbush.
His team said the tree is ‘80% dead and in terminal decline’ and asked to cut back the crown of a Magnolia Grandiflora by one to two metres. These trees are not under a TPO but are still in a conservation area.
In a previous planning application by Hamilton, one neighbour moaned that the ‘current owner bought the property for £18million in 2017 and has never set foot in it’.
Lavish: The building work includes a rear extension, summer house and new frontage with a larger security wall and gates. Pictured: The property’s kitchen and dining room
When the racing car driver applied to demolish the existing summerhouse, there were fears from locals regarding the trees and it being used as a party pad.
Neighbours expressed concern that the property had reportedly ‘remained empty’ while they also disagreed that the trees were in ‘poor’ condition.
One said: ‘It certainly does not need another house at the rear of its garden, which, if the owner ever does move in, will no doubt be used as a ‘party house’ away from the main residence, due to the nature of his lifestyle.’
Another said: ‘Since the property was bought, the beneficial owner(s) concealed by the corporate envelope never used it. The property has remained empty to this day, and it is very likely that the PP is being sought to (again) ‘dress up’ an investment for capital gain.
‘It is disheartening to see tree consultants describe the quality of the poplars (and certain other trees) as ‘low quality’.
Neighbours: He risks angering locals with proposals put to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to knock down and prune historic trees. Pictured: The home’s bedroom
‘These trees have been there for over 100 years and are part of a magnificent landscaping legacy in this precious conservation area of the RBKC.
‘Their possible demise over time as a result of the construction would seriously impair the value of the neighbouring properties.’
A final one wrote: ‘They are magnificent ‘heritage’ trees, which are easily identified from an airplane upon approach to Heathrow Airport.
‘The report also describes them both as in ‘Poor’ structural condition. I hope that this is also incorrect. In addition, they are considered ‘post-mature’ in age.
‘The combination of these comments makes me concerned that there is a desire to take them down to create more room for the building works.’
Support: A neighbour backing onto Hamilton’s property supported the application, saying that the large trees can leave ‘pigeon droppings’ all over their garden
The racing driver’s home is near Pembroke Studios, which houses a number of painters’ studios, including ‘Britain’s greatest living artist’ David Hockney, who sometimes paints there and works have been inspired by the studios.
The planning tension comes after British F1 superstar announced he is changing his name to include his mother’s maiden name because he doesn’t ‘really fully understand the whole idea that when people get married the woman loses her name’.
The seven-time world champion said he intends to use his mother Carmen’s maiden name Larbalestier as a new middle name so that the surname can live on with him.
Speaking ahead of the new Formula One season which starts in Bahrain on Sunday, he said: ‘It would mean the world to my family [to win an eighth title]. It would mean a lot to me knowing that, for example, I’m really proud of my family’s name: Hamilton. Actually none of you might know that my mum’s [sur]name is Larbalestier. And I’m just about to put that in my name.
Close: It comes after British F1 superstar announced he is changing his name to include his mother’s maiden name
‘Because I don’t really fully understand the whole idea of why, when people get married, the woman loses her name. I really want her name to continue on with the Hamilton name.’
Asked whether it would be in time for this weekend, Hamilton added. ‘It will be soon. No, I don’t know if it will be this weekend. But we’re working on it.’
Born Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton, the 37-year-old driving ace grew up in the Hertfordshire town of Stevenage to parents Anthony and Carmen.
After Hamilton’s parents split when he aged two, he was raised by his mother until aged 12, when he moved to live with his father Anthony, stepmother Linda and half-brother Nicolas.
Anthony Hamilton is widely credited with having gotten the young Lewis into racing when he bought him remote-controlled car when he was seven, and his first go-kart the following Christmas.
Mother and son: The seven-time world champion said he intends to use his mother Carmen’s maiden name Larbalestier as a new middle name so that the surname can live on with him
Hamilton quickly began winning races and cadet class championships and became the youngest driver to win the British cadet karting championship at the age of 10.
Hamilton described Carmen as ‘the most amazing woman in the world’ in 2015 when he organised a surprise 60th birthday party for her in London, with special guest and performer Jessie J.
Anthony was Lewis’s manager throughout his racing career until 2010, when he was ruthlessly sacked.
Two weeks before the F1 season started, Hamilton downplayed the development, announcing: ‘Dad will miss being here, but it was me who initiated the break. He’s got other things to focus on, and I don’t want my dad being my manager anymore.’
However, Anthony later revealed: ‘He [Lewis] thought, ‘Do you know what dad? I am fed up listening to you’. He decided he wanted to be his own man. I was comfortable with that.’
Family: Anthony Hamilton (pictured with his son and Lewis’s stepmother Linda Hamilton in 2012) is widely credited with having gotten the young Lewis into racing
In a sign of the closeness of the bond between Hamilton and his mother Carmen, F1’s most famous face invited her to watch him receive his knighthood from Prince Charles at Windsor Castle in December.
Asked about the incoming name change on Sky Sports News, Sky F1 commentator David Croft called it ‘fantastic’.
He added: ‘Lewis is so attached to his dad because of their background and the karting weekends, and the bond that came through racing.
‘But he has also got a huge bond with his mum, he loves her to bits. I think it’s brilliant that he’s going to take her name and well done, Lewis. He’s doing it for all the right reasons.
‘Obviously his mum and dad have been separated for many, many years but they both come to the same races, we see them both together and I think it’s fantastic what he’s doing.’
Speaking about her break-up with Anthony, Carmen once revealed: ‘Lewis was the best thing to come out of my marriage. [The split] didn’t damage Lewis.
‘He is probably better for it than if we had stuck together in an unhappy marriage. Tony wanted to be somebody and he has achieved that. I wanted the quiet life and that put a barrier between us. I couldn’t see myself in that busy, hectic lifestyle.
‘But I didn’t stop him making sure Lewis got what he wanted. Without his dad’s constant, constant work he would not have been able to continue.’
According to House of Names, the Larbalestier name comes from Devon, where the family held a seat as Lords of the Manor. The site tells how the Saxon influence of English history diminished after the Battle of Hastings in 1066.
It adds: ‘The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed. But Saxon surnames survived and the family name was first referenced in the 13th century in Devon.’
Childhood: Born Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton, the 37-year-old driving ace grew up in the Hertfordshire town of Stevenage to parents Anthony and Carmen