Back in 2010, when he was still an item with Sienna Miller, Jude Law invested an alleged £8 million in a Grade II listed, eight-bedroom detached Georgian house. Now, after a lengthy planning battle in which he knocked heads with the ever-vigilant Highgate Society, he has finally won permission to extend the basement and renovate the interior.
The planning application includes the reduction of the number of bedrooms to five, the replacement of the staircase and the renewal of a number of fixtures with a view to returning the property to its original Georgian splendour. However, it was the plans to extend the basement to create a gym that apparently caused concern to local experts, as so many houses in the area are now excavating basements that some have suggested problems with water drainage may arise. Luckily for Law, his architect was able to argue that the excavation required was minimal and the planning officers signed off on the project.
Law’s stunning double fronted property is typical of what is making Highgate the go-to area for stars and celebrities. Located in one of Highgate’s most sought after Georgian terraces, the house once belonged to celebrated WWII air-raid shelter designer, Ovi Arup. By moving into this exclusive enclave, Jude becomes close neighbours with Kate Moss, George Michael, Sting and Trudy Styler and Clive Owen, while also being close to three of his children who live with his ex-wife, Sadie Frost, in Primrose Hill. Until relatively recently, Highgate was a small village just north of London – but now the city has swallowed it up, it’s valued for its proximity to the open spaces of Hampstead Heath and Waterlow Park. It is also the location of the famous cemetery where Karl Marx, Douglas Adams, George Elliot, Sir Ralph Richardson and Beryl Bainbridge are all buried.
To find out more about Highgate and its near neighbours Hampstead, Belsize Park, Primrose Hill and South and West Hampstead, take a look at our Hampstead area report.