EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Neighbours’ victory as plans for new all-weather arena at polo ground used by William and Harry are thrown out
Princes William and Harry, as well as supermodel Elle ‘the Body’ Macpherson, have all played chukkas at London’s last remaining polo ground.
But now, I hear, the divots are flying at the exclusive Ham Polo Club after its bid to build a new all-weather arena to allow the royal sport to be played during the winter was rejected by planners.
It follows a backlash from its well-heeled neighbours who include Lady Annabel Goldsmith, the socialite mother of Tory minister Lord Goldsmith who inspired the name of Annabel’s nightclub in Mayfair.
The application drew more than 200 objections from residents who warned it would have a disastrous impact on protected landscape on the banks of the Thames within sight of the Grade I-listed Ham House, where films including The Young Victoria have been shot.
Central to the plan was the building of a 5ft close board fence around the new all-weather arena, so interrupting views.
Princes William (pictured in 2009 at the Ham Polo Club) and Harry, as well as supermodel Elle ‘the Body’ Macpherson, have all played chukkas at London’s last remaining polo ground
But now, I hear, the divots are flying at the exclusive Ham Polo Club (pictured) after its bid to build a new all-weather arena to allow the royal sport to be played during the winter was rejected by planners
It follows a backlash from its well-heeled neighbours who include Lady Annabel Goldsmith (pictured), the socialite mother of Tory minister Lord Goldsmith who inspired the name of Annabel’s nightclub in Mayfair
The fence is required for a winter form of polo, which is likened to indoor football, where players bounce a leather ball off the boundary as part of the game.
There has been long-running antagonism between the operators of the club and residents in Ham and Petersham, who accuse it of effectively shutting out locals while causing nuisance with, for example, arrivals by helicopter of its wealthy visitors.
In a letter of objection to planners, one resident suggested the new fence was designed ‘so that the toffs don’t need to be seen by the [sic] hoi polloi when playing in the sand with the horses’.
In its application, the polo club argued that the new arena would allow it to operate all year round, rather than just in the warmer months.
The club and its supporters said this would allow it to invite more people from the local community, charities, schools, universities and the underprivileged to take part in the sport.
However, the celebrated conductor Adam Gatehouse said there was no evidence for this, telling councillors: ‘On the contrary, horse riding and polo are minority sports practiced by a small financially advantaged section of the public.’
He pointed out that the club charges adults £185 per hour with £85 per hour for children.
Council planning officers recommended approval for the scheme, subject to conditions. However, councillors on the planning committee overwhelmingly rejected the application, arguing the harm outweighed any benefits.
The application drew more than 200 objections from residents who warned it would have a disastrous impact on protected landscape on the banks of the Thames within sight of the Grade I-listed Ham House, where films including The Young Victoria have been shot (pictured: Prince William and Harry at a charity polo match at Ham Polo Club)
Don’t expect to see any flags waved for BBC bosses at the Last Night Of The Proms this year.
Paul Hughes, former director of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and the BBC Singers — which was brutally axed by the corporation this week — tells Roger Bolton’s Beeb Watch podcast: ‘The director- general might rock up at the First Night Of The Proms, the chairman might at the last night.
‘Charlotte Moore [the corporation’s chief content officer] came to a Proms and said how lovely it all was and was never seen again.’
Hughes, who stood down from his role at the corporation last year, adds: ‘These are people for whom what we do doesn’t matter.’
Did the executive class learn nothing from their aborted plan to axe the singing of Rule, Britannia and Land Of Hope And Glory at the patriotic event?
He became the nation’s favourite PE teacher during lockdown and Joe Wicks has continued to make a fortune since the pandemic.
I can reveal that the burpee-loving Body Coach guru, 37, who was awarded an MBE at Windsor Castle for his services to fitness, added £20 million to the bottom line at his fitness empire last year.
Newly filed accounts for Joe Wicks Group report £2.2 million in profits, plus £12 million and £6 million in new business assets held through Bconh and Joew Holdings respectively.
Wicks set up Joe Wicks Group in 2018 and Bconh and Joew Holdings in 2021. All accounts were signed off by Wicks this week.
There are no pay disclosures for Wicks, who owns all the shares for the three companies.
No detail is reported on the new £18 million in assets held by him across Bconh and Joew Holdings. Accounts listed them as ‘other investments’.
Double trouble! Lady Melissa has twin boys
Despite marrying American billionaire Remy Trafelet, royal pal Lady Melissa Percy has found a way of ensuring her son inherits her illustrious surname.
I hear that the Duke of Northumberland’s daughter, 35, (pictured left), whose ancestral home Alnwick Castle doubled as Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter films, has just given birth to twin boys. One has been named Percy and the other Alfred. ‘The couple are delighted,’ a friend says.
Missy, as she’s known to chums, has a two-year-old daughter, Bluebell, with Trafelet, who has three children from his previous marriage.
Princes William and Harry were among the guests at Lady Melissa’s first wedding, to businessman Thomas Van Straubenzee, the godfather of Princess Charlotte.
Despite marrying American billionaire Remy Trafelet, royal pal Lady Melissa Percy (pictured) has found a way of ensuring her son inherits her illustrious surname
Tense times at the headquarters of Pol Roger, Sir Winston Churchill’s favourite champagne.
The company supplied the fizz for Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation in 1953 as well as for royal weddings, including Prince Harry and Meghan’s in 2018.
Yet it hasn’t heard whether it will be serving the bubbles for King Charles’s Coronation in May.
An anxious source tells me: ‘We still don’t know whether we’ll be providing the champagne or not for King Charles. Of course, we would be delighted to do so.’
Perhaps he plans to serve Duchy Organic wine from Waitrose instead? Sales from the range provide an annual donation to the King’s Charitable Fund.
A glittering party for blooming mum Daisy
Party-loving Daisy Lowe, who has kept revelling throughout her pregnancy, has enjoyed one last hurrah.
The model and Strictly Come Dancing star enjoyed a lavish ‘baby shower’ at the Hotel Cafe Royal in London.
Lowe, 34, who’s due to have her first child with her fiance, property developer Jordan Saul, was joined by pals including TV presenter Alexa Chung, broadcaster Nick Grimshaw and Bob Geldof’s daughter Pixie, pictured left with Daisy.
‘My maternal instinct has always been way too strong,’ says Lowe, whose ex-boyfriends include The Crown star Matt Smith and music producer Mark Ronson. ‘I’ve always been desperate to have my own kids but knew I needed to wait for the right person.’
She is the daughter of fashion designer Pearl Lowe and rock star Gavin Rossdale.
Party-loving Daisy Lowe (right), who has kept revelling throughout her pregnancy, has enjoyed one last hurrah
Marisa Abela, who plays Amy Winehouse in Back To Black — Sam Taylor-Johnson’s forthcoming biopic about the late singer — has captured her down to a tee, according to Winehouse’s bass player, Dale Davis.
‘There are certain times when I look at Marisa and I’m reminded of Amy, especially in the make-up and sometimes when she talks,’ he tells me.
‘I’m actually taken back to moments in time. It’s quite evocative in that way.’ Davis performed with Winehouse’s band at QT at Middle Eight in London’s Covent Garden this week.
Source: Read Full Article