Former UK prime minister Boris Johnson has been granted approval to demolish and rebuild an extension to his £3.8 million Grade-II listed Georgian manor house in Oxfordshire.
The designs have been drawn up by Johnston Cave Associates, an Oxford-based practice whose late founder Nicky Johnston worked on Mick Jagger’s Hampshire manor house Stargroves in the Seventies.
Johnson won approval from South Oxfordshire district council to demolish a rear extension dating from 1934 and replace it with something more in keeping with the original house.
Breakfast room means breakfast
Johnston Cave Associates created plans to knock down the existing kitchen, boot room and passage connecting the main house to an annexe, which was added in the 1950s.
In its place, the Johnsons plan to erect another, smaller kitchen, with a separate scullery, larder area, laundry room and a breakfast room, which will open onto an outdoor terrace sheltered by a loggia.
On the first floor, existing bathrooms will be extended into old linen cupboards to be more roomy for the couple and their three children.
Security for the former prime minister’s property will be enhanced by new automatic steel gates set into brickwork plinths capped with Portland stone.
Beware of the newts
An ecological report noted that the changes to the house will not pose any threat to the great crested newts that live in the property’s moat, but the construction of the gates might.
Site managers will have to ensure that precautionary measures are taken, and a plan put in place in case one of the rare newts is encountered.
Johnson and his third wife Carrie bought the nine-bedroom house, which was listed at £4 million, for a reported £3.8 million in 2023.
Their house sits on the site of a moated castle built in the 12th century for King Stephen, whose reign was most notable for a particularly destructive civil war called the Anarchy, which saw the widespread breakdown of civil order in England.
Three of the four sides of the moat remain, while the current house was built in 1605.
A Georgian façade was added in the 1700s, and the Johnsons’ architects plan to finish the extension to be in keeping with these 17th and 18th century elements.
A history of renovation
Solid timber doors will be made using traditional joinery methods, and the new external rainwater pipes will be realised in black-painted cast iron.
Last year the Johnson’s won approval to add a swimming pool to their Oxfordshire home, despite the newts.
The couple, who married when Johnson was in office, previously caused a scandal when they spent £200,000 renovating the flat above 11 Downing Street.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, who currently occupies Number 11, said the £850-a-roll gold wallpaper had already started peeling off and had been painted over by Liz Truss, who was prime minister for 44 days.
The Johnsons put their Camberwell townhouse up for sale in 2022 with a price tag of £1.6 million.
Boris Johnson still owns the farmhouse in Thame, Oxfordshire, he bought while married to Marina Wheeler. It was put up for rent in 2021 for £4,250 a month.