Victoria and David Beckham are angering their neighbors in the country

The Beckhams are ruffling some feathers in the Cotswolds. We learned in June that the famous duo are fulfilling their James Bond fantasies by adding a super-secret underground tunnel that will allow them to travel in stealth mode from their nine-bedroom cottage to a planned underground wine cellar. From the cellar, the tunnel takes them to what has been upgraded from a “luxury car garage” to a “super garage.” I, for one, cannot wait to hear what makes up a super garage. Like, does any oil that leaks get absorbed by the space-age floors and turned into salad dressing? But we are here to discuss the other renovations planned that are ticking off their countryside neighbors. One such neighbor, named Michael Douglas but not that Michael Douglas, wrote a sternly worded email to the town’s council about the Beckhams mucking up their pastoral countryside with all their fancy-schmancy changes. According to Mr. Douglas, their plans include a lake and a hill on their property, which is threatening to turn the Cotswold’s into “suburbia.” Except a little lake and small hill sounds kind of nice.

Their latest proposed project, a large kidney-shaped swimming lake, has been met with fierce criticism from neighbours.

Local resident Michael Douglas voiced his concern in an email to the council having previously objected to the gatehouse.

He wrote: “I now note a further new application has been submitted regarding the Beckham’s Barn, regarding change of use of land to extend the residential curtilage and installation of ‘a heart shaped pond’.

“What they appear to want is to bring suburbia into the countryside, if they had wanted all they have applied for why not find an estate which was big enough to accommodate all of this.”

Mr Douglas fears the project will lead to more buildings in the future and believes a hill to increase the Beckhams’ privacy will be a blot on the landscape.

He continued: “The fact they want to use the soil dug out for this proposed pond and a Bund to protect their privacy changes the whole landscape of the area of fields.

“The statement says ‘The intention for the pond is to improve the landscape aesthetically’ how can you improve the landscape around Great Tew and surrounding areas, what you have at the moment is crop, planted fields, that’s what farm land is and used for, it’s always been green and planted and the land has always been fields.

“They also add ‘to the enjoyment of family living’. If they don’t want to live in the countryside in an open area of green fields why buy the properties in the first instance after all they have properties in Los Angeles, Florida, New York and London.”

The Beckhams’ pad neighbours the trendy Soho Farmhouse retreat which is a popular rural getaway for celebs.

[From The Sun]

There is a bit more at stake here. The pond proposal was recently blocked by environmental concerns for some for the wildlife in that area. The Beckhams are required to submit a five-year sustainability proposal for the lake. That’s pretty standard, most environmental groups weigh in when the habitat is involved. The proposal also mentions lighting for the lake, which The Daily Mail referred to as “flood lights,” that were also blocked due to environmental reasons. Even if it wasn’t going to mess with the local bats, I, as a neighbor, would have several stern words about a baseball field’s illumination glaring through my cozy sitting room. I live in an area that had built a lake as a local swimming hole in the first part of the last century. It was drained because it saturated the surrounding properties so much that we all have Pisa-level leaning property walls. Water tables are nothing to trifle with. Aesthetically, I do not understand the complaint. I live in suburbia so a small lake and hill view would be lovely and anything but a “blot”.

If the neighbors honestly bought their parcels because they wanted miles of flat landscape to look at, I understand their grievances. If this Douglas guy doesn’t want to have to listen or deal with the amount of trucks and machinery drilling away for years to make underground super garages, saunas, ponds and hills, I also understand. But I don’t agree with a pond being a gateway to more buildings. And I think the suburbia claim is off. If anything, this sounds more like an attempt of a suburbanite playing out their Cotswold fantasy with a small bund and lake of their own. And it is David flipping Beckham. Apparently there is a new holiday park that allows for a direct line of sight into the Beckhams home. Any access to him like that is going to wreak even more havoc in the community with all the looky-loos than a small hill that obstructs that. Security concerns are legitimate for someone with David’s level of fame, it’s either underground tunnels and hills or a ton of security personnel parked throughout the area. I’d rather the landscape did the work, myself.

Photo credit: David Beckham’s Instagram/small>


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49 Responses to “Victoria and David Beckham are angering their neighbors in the country”

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  1. MattyLove says:

    All of those super-posed pics of “I’m a country man” are obnoxious. I mean, he’s wearing white shoes in the last one, for crying out loud!

    • Sarah says:

      That was my reaction! I can picture a stylist designing these ‘looks’. Seriously?? Get over yourself.

    • Esme says:

      Lol, right. Amateur country gentleman cosplay… James Middleton does it better.
      Why do Englishmen try to play the country gentry when they get a bit of money? It’s absurd.

      • Nievie says:

        Because deep down no-one with money wants to be viewed as neuvoriche, they want to be snapped in the society pages of Tatler.

        Someone should tell them that the posher you are the more frayed your Barbour should be.

      • Alex says:

        I am so glad I’m not the only one who immediately thought “cosplay”!

    • Jess says:

      That was my reaction too. They have to be taking these pics in a tongue-in-cheek way, right? Please tell me that they realize they’re just playing dress-up like kids would do and that they don’t really think these pics prove that they’re farmers or “country folk.”

  2. A says:

    I like his pristine white shoes in that bottom pic. Mountain man David Beckham roving the countryside with his walking stick.

  3. tempest prognosticator says:

    A heart-shaped pond?? How very Poconos.

  4. Larelyn says:

    Is ot just me, or does the header pic make him look like Jed Clampett??

  5. Izzy says:

    If they wanted a property with a lake, then they should have bought one. Their neighbors shouldn’t be subjected to lighting and a heart-shaped pond? Really??

    • NatureLover says:

      @Izzy, I agree on the pond. And what natural ponds have lights? They just want it to be a swimming pool.

    • Willz (not THAT one) says:

      Agreed. Also, a nearby community to where we live created their own small lake several years back, and people don’t seem to understand how these bodies of water affect local weather patterns in surrounding areas. I was surprised to realize how closely related everything in the environment really is. We seem to understand that regarding wildlife (another big consideration for the Beckhams, I would imagine), but not so much regarding our neighbors and adjacent communities.

  6. Jellybean says:

    I am sympathetic. Living somewhere so quiet, massive building over a number of years will be very unpleasant, especially for people stuck at home all day. I live in an area that has quite a lot of traffic, so I am use to noise, but having to work at home during lockdown was quite enlightening. Two hours solid of an industrial grass strimmer in the church next door- not helpful when you are trying to think and it is too hot to close the windows.

  7. Lyli says:

    Rich people are obnoxious

  8. Noki says:

    I have seen the arial shot, was that an actual barn before? Why not just get a country manor?

    • Tia says:

      Actual historical country manors have massive restrictions on what you can do with them, are not that comfortable and take an insane amount of upkeep. There’s a reason a lot of them are in the hands of the National Trust.

      Of course, with their money you’d have thought they could build a new house completely to their requirements. Maybe they are being vaguely sensible and thinking of resale value.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        I think I read somewhere that the neighbors to their property did not want a new & modern house built fearing it would be a “McMansion”.

        Being a Yank, I really do not understand the attitude of “we do not want anything new built” yet the UK, especially England, has a housing shortage.

    • Betsy says:

      Yeah, I don’t understand why someone would purchase land in one area to try and make it act like land somewhere else. It’s not like these people are nurturing a single tree out on the prairie with few other choices.

    • Willz (not THAT one) says:

      @Bay I find that fascinating, because as an American, I’m so sad we don’t have such examples of historical structures in our country. I understand the desire to preserve these ancient dwellings and their surroundings. Having said that, I acknowledge there is a place for new building and design, and I can appreciate such. I don’t think the Cotswalds is it.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        I think it is because in the USA there is not a culture of one family living in a single house for generations and centuries unless it is a farm homestead.

        Also, there are not as many historical homes in the USA as there are in the UK.

        Another reason is that in the USA new construction is cheaper than remodeling, updating and modernizing. The UK does not seem to be as interested in updating and modernizing of homes and historical structures.

        Also, a new house can be built to look old in order to fit in with the landscape and other surrounding structures.

  9. Appalachian says:

    Performative ruralness?

  10. Tris says:

    Did they rent the hounds for the photo shoot? Or did they come with the outfits

  11. Chaine says:

    All that and how often will they actually even live there? It will be a once-a-month weekend house at best once they’ve tired of posing for fashion shoots cosplaying rural gentry.

  12. Andrew’s Nemesis says:

    A heart-shaped pond? Pretentious parvenus.
    If they wanted to do country cosplay, they should have picked a plot of land that is out of sight, out of mind. I’d be pretty pissed off if a couple of yahoos decided to wreck a view that has been unsullied for hundreds of years because they have too much money and no idea what to do with it.*

    *I mean, they could pay their staff properly and not try to filch money from the taxpayers because they want to keep their obscene amounts of money, but that would require a conscience and a code of ethics.

  13. LaraW" says:

    I think the gateway to suburban development is a valid concern – the Beckham’s presence in the area will likely attract other buyers and once a permit is granted, I think it’s difficult to deny the same requests simply because precedence has already been set. I’m sure the Beckhams will invite their family and friends, who have the time and resources to decide that perhaps buying some land and building something similar to the Beckhams is a good investment, a place to visit every so often when they want to get away from London.

    Also, looking at the photos, and given the fact that wildlife societies have already rejected some proposals, I would venture to say there’s a rich local ecosystem of birds and local critters who make their homes underground. A habitat disruption of that scale would really harm the population, provide paths of ingress for other species which may be more aggressive and invasive. As for the pool/pond.. wouldn’t it attract swans, geese and ducks? What are the Beckhams going to do, cover it with a tarp to prevent the birds from colonizing the new habitat?

  14. Mina_Esq says:

    I kind of agree with the neighbor that, if they wanted a different landscape and more privacy, they should have looked for a place that already had those desired features instead of trying to change the whole look of this parcel. You’re not meant to have all the modern conveniences in the country.

  15. Skwinkee says:

    Aesthetically, I do not understand the complaint. I live in suburbia so a small lake and hill view would be lovely and anything but a “blot”.

    Yes, in American suburbia because it’s horribly ugly. But essentially this is like rocking up to Yellowstone and saying hmmm we need to concrete over these pools for our 4 car garage and tennis courts.

    The Cotswalds are lovely-they need no improvement.

    There is a really interesting country/city divide in England. Once it’s country they want it to STAY country. I would imagine the Beckhams moving in would be like the Kardashians setting up shop and building some horrible garish house.
    And as people have pointed out it’s very much country cos-play and as a local I would be pissed!

  16. EMc says:

    If the neighbor was worried about keeping the land the way he wanted it, then he should have bought it himself.

  17. Noodle says:

    I don’t have a strong opinion either way, except to say that hills can disrupt drainage and wreak havoc for farmland or fields. All of a sudden water is draining in new and “exciting” ways, and people’s homes can get flooded or farmlands ruined. I don’t know about precipitation in this region, but if I were a neighbor, that would concern me.

    In my last home, my neighbor dug up her land and put in desert rock. It messed up our drainage in spectacular ways. Because of it, we had a perennial 3” deep pond in our front yard during the winter, even though we lived in the desert. On a grand scale, this could potentially be really damaging to homes and livelihoods.

  18. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Omg. Hysterical! Performative hipster country folk. And with phone-in animals and filters.

  19. Ariel says:

    They come off as gauche, new money idiots, and that’s what the old money neighbors are probably annoyed by.
    Building a hill?
    Too much money. Not enough sense or taste.

  20. Storminateacup says:

    Yeah that, they’ve always had more money than taste. This is just a phase. I don’t get her makeup and fashion brand either. She always looks so uncomfortable in her own skin.

    • Allergy says:

      For a former performer she’s oddly stiff, like a librarian thrown into spotlight. It’s weird.

    • BarbN says:

      God has wasted at least one-quarter of a face on Victoria Beckham. She ALWAYS poses with that 3/4 position and that semi-sour look. I’m beginning to think her family just has several full-sized cardboard pictures of her that they pose with when the cameras show up. Where is the real VB?

  21. kimberlu says:

    I thank the Beckman clan, because I needed a good laugh on a hard day….they are ridiculously foolish people. I hope they never change, because they make me feel better about myself.

  22. laura-j says:

    I find him very attractive. That’s all I got. Rich people problems…

  23. CarlaM says:

    The only thing that caught my eye was the picture of David and Victoria together.

    Their body language does not speak of ANY love or attraction. How are these two still married?!
    I’m actually quite shocked to see them so disconnected.
    Usually there will be a small detail in photos of long-time married couples, but here’s there’s NOTHING in either photo.

    Their stance, how their bodies literally curve opposite directions from each other, her back towards him, his awkward hand that barely wants to touch her, their faces….I just… it’s insane if they don’t lead separate lives.

    (I work with psychology, body language and visual communication btw. Probably why I can’t focus on anything else here.)

  24. ce says:

    Hecate please elaborate on those Pisa walls!! I am dying to know the story, sounds insane

    The property I bought in NY was inland from swamps, then housing, then I have concluded partial landfill, and now housing once more. I am always curious about water/soil histories of land. Until I became a homeowner, the only thing I ever knew to care about was clay content!

  25. You Must Be Joking says:

    I’m loving the snark coming from our blue collar base today.

  26. Valerie says:

    She was always the least likable Spice Girl. No talent, no personality, and no style for someone supposedly so ‘posh.’ I thought she was bland and classless then, and I stand by that opinion today!