Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bish, Bash, Bosh Jamie Chops Up Mansion Six Years after Knocking Two Homes Together; AS BIG HOUSES FALL OUT OF FAVOUR, TV CHEF REBUILDS WALLS BETWEEN VILLAS TO SELL PS12M PROPERTY

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bish, Bash, Bosh Jamie Chops Up Mansion Six Years after Knocking Two Homes Together; AS BIG HOUSES FALL OUT OF FAVOUR, TV CHEF REBUILDS WALLS BETWEEN VILLAS TO SELL PS12M PROPERTY

Article excerpt

Byline: Sophia Sleigh and Jonathan Prynn

BIG is no longer beautiful in London's stumbling property market just six years after Jamie Oliver spent a fortune creating one huge 10-bedroom home in Primrose Hill out of two terrace houses by knocking through the party walls, he is getting ready to send the builders back in.

This time he wants them to restore the dividing walls brick by brick after the house failed to secure a buyer during the six months it was on the market priced at just under PS12 million.

His drastic action comes as stamp duty rises and foreign buyers' nervousness about Brexit bring an end to mansion mania.

Agents say his scheme is likely to be the start of a trend as it becomes harder than ever to shift the colossal trophy residences that were being snapped up just two years ago.

Home buying agent Henry Pryor said: "There is not a lot going on at the top end of the market, but there is still plenty of money in the middle market and in particular there is demand for family homes.

"That is where the sweet spot is. People are able to afford them because of the equity in their existing homes. They are still able to borrow and they are still in secure roles. The very top end is just too difficult. I think Jamie Oliver's being very sensible and I think we will see more of that."

Camden councillors approved Oliver's plans last week and his U-turn has been welcomed by residents in Primrose Hill who campaigned fiercely against the original scheme to merge two properties. It followed similar knock-throughs by former Monty Python star Michael Palin and actress Helena Bonham-Carter.

Richard Simpson, chairman of Primrose Hill Conservation Area Advisory Committee, said he hoped Oliver's decision would signal an end to knocking "already gigantic" houses into one.

"When you are facing a real housing crisis for quite a large number of people in London, it's really very offensive for people to do this sort of thing. …

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