Sean Gives Developers a Sharpe Rap
|Last Update: 13 September 2002|
Day and Night column
Tuesday 10 September 2002
Lord of the Rings star Sean Bean is drawing on his experiences of fights to the death in Middle Earth by leading a battle with a developer planning to bulldoze a row of buildings near his North London home.
Sean, 43, who won over cinema audiences as proud warrior Boromir in the hit film, says the demolition of the shop and houses is a threat to the village character of trendy Belsize Park, where the Sheffield-born star lives.
"I, among many others in the community, am strongly against the proposed redevelopment of these buildings," says Sean, whose name tops a 400-strong petition against the scheme.
"I believe they are integral to the character of Belsize Park village and to demolish them will erode the character and the atmosphere of the area."
Sean, who earned his gritty image as a swashbuckling soldier in the popular TV series Sharpe and as gardener Mellors in Lady Chatterley's Lover, has been joined in his campaign by local MP Glenda Jackson and former Labour Party leader Michael Foot.
The owner of the properties, Mountview Estates, has applied to Camden Council to replace the buildings with four three-storey townhouses. Sean and his fellow campaigners, however, fear the development will also restrict sunlight to neighbouring buildings.
The shop due to be demolished is Zarka Marble, which fits marble bathrooms and furnishings for clients, incluidng actor Charles Dance. Its co-owner Vincent Schofield says: "It is very heartening that so many people, including Michael Foot and Sean Bean, have signed the petition. Everybody in the community is against the proposed development because it will destroy the village. We will lose the light that the buildings in their present state allow."
If the application is successful, the tenants of the houses will be rehoused under a legal requirement.
This is not the first time Sean has become
involved in a neighbourhood issue. He once signed a petition to
stop the council felling an ash tree.
Despite his campaigning, he has still found time for a West End play, appearing in the title role of Shakespeare's Macbeth opposite Samantha Bond, who is best known as James Bond's Miss Moneypenny.
Mountfiew Estates declines to comment on its planning application.
Sean Bean backs bid to halt new townhouses
Scheme is threat to village character, says actor
- from a Hampstead local newspaper
HE may have played a baddie in the James Bond movie GoldenEye, but film actor Sean Bean is a good guy at heart.
The star, who lives in Belsize Park, and whose recent credits include Peter Jacksons 2002 box office smash The Fellowship of the Ring, is among residents backing a campaign to save a long-standing business in Belsize Terrace.
Sheffield-born Mr Bean, who also starred in swashbuckling television series Sharpe, has put his name to a 400-strong petition to stop the proposed bulldozing of three buildings, including one which houses Zarka Marble.
He said: I, amongst many others in the community, am strongly against the proposed redevelopment of these buildings.
I believe that they are integral to the character of Belsize Park village and to demolish them will erode the character and the atmosphere of the area.
The owner of the properties, Mountview Estates, has applied to Camden Council to replace the buildings with four three-storey townhouses.
But campaigners, who also include former Labour leader Michael Foot and Hampstead and Highgate MP Glenda Jackson, fear that the development will spoil the character of the area and restrict sunlight to neighbouring buildings.
Vincent Schofield, who runs Zarka Marble with business partner Colin Wilkes, said: It is very good, very heartening that so many people, including Michael Foot and Sean Bean, have signed the petition. Everybody in the community is against the proposed development because it will destroy the village. We will lose the green corner and lose the light that the buildings in their present state allow.
If the application is successful, the tenants of the houses will be rehoused, under a legal requirement.
But Mr Schofield, who has run the business - fitting marble bathrooms and furnishings for clients including actor Charles Dance - since 1984, said that Zarka Marbles future was less certain: As far as I am concerned there is nowhere more perfect for our showroom. I really dont know where we will go or what we will do if Mountviews application is approved.
This is not the first time that Sean Bean has put his name to a neighbourhood issue.
In September 2000, he got behind a petition to stop the council from felling an ash tree near his home.
Mountview Estates declined to comment.
Losing their marbles over demolition
16 Aug 2002
PLANS to demolish two homes and a long-standing
business in Belsize Lane have stunned residents who say the proposals
will ruin the area.
Mountview Estates is seeking planning permission from Camden Council to bulldoze the three buildings and replace them with four three-storey townhouses.
Jenny Flavill, who has rented one of the houses for 31 years, said: As a bombshell on Monday morning I got a letter from the council telling me that my home is going to be demolished. I would have thought that the company would have let me know. They want to make money - as developers do - but they want to build two storeys higher, which is not going to enhance the village at all.
Ms Flavill is a protected tenant, which means Mountview will have to find her somewhere to live that is acceptable to her.
Colin Wilkins and Vincent Schofield, partners in Zarka Marble, which makes marble fittings for the home and has been on the site for more than 15 years, say they dont know where they will go next if they are turfed out of the property.
Mr Schofield said he had been expecting the worst since the previous owner of the building died two years ago and the properties were snapped up by Mountview.
If Camden gives permission for this to be razed to the ground and redeveloped it would be devastating, Mr Schofield said.
I wont know where to operate
from. If it was for homeless people or teachers it would make
sense, but I know what they are going to be doing is making as
much money as possible.