From Downton Abbey to Modern Family Home: Boris Johnson’s Mansion Revamp

credit: metro

London (Parliament Politics Maganize) – Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson has won his appeal for a luxury rebuild on his £ 4 million country mansion that will witness him smash the Downton Abbey-style servants’ quarters.
Johnson wants to modernize his Grade II listed manor house in Oxfordshire for the “democratic age where families no longer depend on live-in staff.”

The former Leader of the Conservative Party intends to knock down and rebuild a single-story attachment originally constructed for servants to make way for a new scullery, laundry, larder, breakfast room, and a larger boot room. However, he had to get approval from officials at the local council as his stately pile is documented as a building and lies in a specified conservation area with stricter planning laws.

Further, a neighbor also argued that the proposed new entrance gates were “out of keeping” with the 400-year-old house Mr. Johnson shared with his wife, Carrie, and their three young kids. As well as replacing the servant quarters, the proposals include little alterations to an 18th-century Georgian wing to create a new Primary Suite complete with a dressing room and a larger family bathroom.

Johnson also desires an extended balcony and a new electric gated entry to boost security and stop his children from rushing into the road. In a design statement, his planning agent stated: “Since there are very young children, there is the requirement for access to the property to become more secure.”

Also, in a letter to the council, one neighbor reported: “While I do not think the proposed gates are in keeping with the attractive facade of [the house], they are no worse than some existing examples in the village. My concern is that they will deter merchants and visitors from entering the property, leading to even more parking around the war memorial and outside the village hall. Reinstating the previous ‘no parking’ markings will lessen this nuisance as would better signposting of the underused hall car park.”

Former MP, dismissed from Ten Downing Street in 2022, was earlier granted planning approval for an 11x4m outdoor swimming pool despite fears for newts – a protected species. The former prime minister also vowed to “do whatever it takes” to protect the newts, including building “newt motels” if necessary.

South Oxfordshire District Council Authorities granted the green light for his latest plans after no objections from conservationists. Planning officer Kim Gould stated, “Planning permission is granted because the proposed development will not harm the setting of the listed building or a significant adverse impact on neighbor amenities. The proposed works safeguard the historic and architectural interest and setting of the Grade II listed building.”

Moreover, in Feb last year, Johnson agreed to purchase a £4m nine-bedroom, Grade II-listed home in Oxfordshire.

There were also speculations that Johnson was considering contesting for election in Oxfordshire rather than his current seat of Uxbridge, a marginal in west London with a majority of 7,200. The village is near Johnson’s prior constituency of Henley, for which he functioned as MP between 2001 and 2008.

Read More: The Race for Oxford’s Chancellor: Boris Johnson Steps In

Then, Johnson was shown around a private school in Oxfordshire, with a thought to send his son Wilf there as a day student in September 2024, pursued by his daughter Romy. His four children with his ex-wife Marina Wheeler, a barrister, attended state primary schools in north London. The couple had also been reportedly glancing at other homes, also in the £4m

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.