Lord Alan Sugar suffers planning setback as council rejects plans for new gated entrance to his £8.5m Essex home

The rear of the property from a view above shows a tennis court and swimming pool
Lord Sugar's Essex home has faced a variety of planning setbacks, with his plans for a new gated being just one in a long list of rejections (Image credit: Google Earth)

Lord Alan Sugar, 76, faced yet another setback with his local council as they rejected his plans to construct a new gated entrance to his £8.5 million Essex mansion. 

The billionaire host of 'The Apprentice' has received another planning permission refusal from Epping Forest District Council for his 10-acre estate, which includes a swimming pool, tennis court, and classic Victorian features.

The council deemed Lord Sugar's plans for his Chigwell based home as "harmful" to the Metropolitan Green Belt land, which is yet another planning refusal he has faced for this property.

7ft gates for his 13ft wide driveway

In his application Lord Sugar explained that he wanted to install a new boundary fence and entrance gates to his Essex mansion.

The plans would replace one of his existing entrances with a new one, featuring 7-foot-high painted metal gates for a new 13-foot wide driveway.

The new gated entrance was meant to lead onto a second outbuilding, which Lord Sugar had received permission to build, as part of largescale renovations to the estate.

The outbuilding includes a a single-storey "garden room" outbuilding with security office features, toilet, kitchen facilities, and entertainment rooms, that lies within the curtilage of the house.

Plans would cause 'significant harm' to the Green Belt

While this new outbuilding received approval, the council chose to reject the new entrance and driveway on the 15th of August.

Council officials questioned the necessity of these new gates, and planning documents raised concerns that Lord Sugar might intend to use the outbuilding as a separate dwelling on his property, which led to his planning permission being refused.

Planning Officer Mark Shearman stated: "The application site is located in the Metropolitan Green Belt. The proposed development includes a new access, entrance gates and driveway road which fall outside of the residential curtilage of the dwelling.

"The proposed development is therefore inappropriate development which is, by definition, harmful to the Green Belt. The proposed development would fail to preserve the openness of the Green Belt and would conflict with the purposes of including land within the Green Belt. 

"No very special circumstances have been demonstrated that are sufficient to outweigh the significant harm to the Green Belt and to the purposes of including land within the Green Belt."

An above shot of the house shows a semi-circle driveway and Victorian wooden beam structure

Lord Sugar wanted new 7-foot high gates for a new 13-foot wide driveway to provide access to a new outbuilding he had built (Image credit: Google Earth)

Just one of many planning battles Lord Sugar has faced

The news is sure to create further frustration for Alan Sugar as the rejection as part of a long series of planning battles he has had with Epping Forest District Council.

Previous proposals included demolishing the 115-year-old house in Chigwell to build a new one with various amenities, but these plans were rejected due to their impact on Green Belt land and due to the large size of the property.

Despite approval for some modifications, such as demolishing a conservatory and constructing new house extensions, other further proposals, including a second outbuilding, were rejected by the council due to their distance from the main house and unnecessary size.

The second outbuilding was originally meant to be 100ft away from the house and have a gym and study, but was said to be large enough for four people to live, and so were ultimately rejected.

Lord Sugar had to revise his plans, instead proposing a smaller, single-storey 'garden room' outbuilding, that was ultimately approved in March this year.

The front of the house is guarded by a gate and shows a long Victorian structure

The council rejected the plans as they were said to cause 'significant harm' to the Green Belt (Image credit: Google Earth)
Joseph Mullane
News Editor

News Editor Joseph has previously written for Today’s Media and Chambers & Partners, focusing on news for conveyancers and industry professionals.  Joseph has just started his own self build project, building his own home on his family’s farm with planning permission for a timber frame, three-bedroom house in a one-acre field. The foundation work has already begun and he hopes to have the home built in the next year. Prior to this he renovated his family's home as well as doing several DIY projects, including installing a shower, building sheds, and livestock fences and shelters for the farm’s animals. Outside of homebuilding, Joseph loves rugby and has written for Rugby World, the world’s largest rugby magazine.