Work begins on radio DJ Chris Evans' massive 14-apartment development

Good Evans! Massive controversial 14-apartment development masterminded by radio DJ Chris Evans is finally started – and is expected to fetch him up to £14million in total

  • The huge complex in Ascot, Berkshire has previously sparked a number of objections from star’s neighbours
  • Evans was given the green light to bulldoze his derelict £3.8m mansion in 2019 and develop the luxury homes
  • Developer Millgate Homes describes it as ‘a rare and exquisite collection’ of apartments and penthouses

Work has finally begun on a controversial 14-apartment development masterminded by radio DJ Chris Evans.

The huge complex in Berkshire is expected to fetch him up to £14 million in total, but has previously sparked objections from neighbours.

The 55-year-old was given the green light to bulldoze his derelict £3.8m mansion in 2019 and develop the complex of luxury homes.

Developer Millgate Homes describes the site, named Beechgrove, as ‘a rare and exquisite collection’ of two and three bedroom apartments and penthouses, set in nine acres of private grounds.

It adds: ‘In the heart of the community, surrounded by the beauty of nature, Beechgrove offers a complementary balanced lifestyle for those who seek life and living in equilibrium.’

Construction is now clearly well under way, with images today showing scaffolding erected and cranes towering over the nearby trees in Sunninghill, Ascot.

As well as the 14 apartments, the plush estate on green belt land will also boast underground parking for 26 vehicles, an existing swimming pool and tennis court for communal use. 

But conservationists have previously raised concerns about potential harm to birds and bats, while neighbours argued the development was ‘inappropriate’.

Work has finally begun on a controversial 14-apartment development masterminded by radio DJ Chris Evans

A CGI image by developer Millgate Homes outlines how the huge apartment complex could look when completed

The huge complex in Berkshire is expected to fetch the star up to £14 million in total, but has previously sparked objections from neighbours

A map graphic demonstrates where the development complex, off Church Lane, Sunninghill, Ascot, is located

Construction is now clearly well under way, with images today showing scaffolding erected and cranes towering over the nearby trees in Sunninghill, Ascot

Developer Millgate Homes describes the site, named Beechgrove, as ‘a rare and exquisite collection’ of two and three bedroom apartments and penthouses, set in nine acres of private grounds

Evans’ proposed two-storey apartment building was described in planning proposals as ‘an extremely high quality’ of a ‘bespoke classical design’.

The rectangular build will contain eight three-bedroom apartments and six two-bedroom apartments, with further accommodation within the roof space.

Additional landscaping will be provided by Evans’ team, including extra trees and shrubs around the site perimeter and southern boundary.

Parking for 24 cars will be in the basement, but surface space outside the build will be able to accommodate another 12 vehicles.

Neighbour Dr Pat Morris was among those who objected, arguing the development was ‘inappropriate’.

In a letter sent to the council in March 2019, Dr Morris added: ‘Failure to defend the democratically approved principles of the Neighbourhood Plan will result in further disillusion among local residents.

‘The size and style of the proposed apartment block is clearly out of line with nearby properties and represents insensitive over-development of this site.’

Sunninghill and Ascot Parish Council also raised concerns about the green belt land.  

As well as the 14 apartments, the plush estate on green belt land will also boast underground parking for 26 vehicles, an existing swimming pool and tennis court for communal use

But conservationists have previously raised concerns about potential harm to birds and bats, while neighbours argued the development was ‘inappropriate’

Evans’ proposed two-storey apartment building was described in planning proposals as ‘an extremely high quality’ of a ‘bespoke classical design’

The rectangular build will contain eight three-bedroom apartments and six two-bedroom apartments, with further accommodation within the roof space

Additional landscaping will be provided by Evans’ team, including extra trees and shrubs around the site perimeter and southern boundary 

The 55-year radio host plans to bulldoze the derelict eight-bedroom house he bought for £3.8 million in 2009 (pictured) and build a new property containing 14 flats

A yellow planning application notice, pictured in 2019, tell residents the star wants to build a block including eight three-bedroom apartments

But planning officers at Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council ultimately gave Evans the go ahead, with conditions which include builders being supervised by ecology specialists.

They must identify ‘biodiversity protection zones’ and take practical measures to avoid harm done to nesting birds and a bat roost on the site. 

Evans’ team will also have to ‘protect trees which contribute to the visual amenities of the site’ and ‘ensure a form of development that maintains, and contributes positively to, the character and appearance of the area’.

Landscaping on the site must not be ‘damaged or destroyed during construction’, and the planners must also provide painstaking details of ‘all components of the proposed surface water drainage system’.

Evans’ 14 apartments must be completed by the end of 2022, the council said.

MailOnline has approached Mr Evans for comment. 

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