Ripple’s UK and Europe Managing Director, Sendi Young, may have found herself in a surprising and unusual feud, not with regulators, but with a trio of actors known for their roles as professors in the “Harry Potter” movies. Young’s ambitious plan to renovate her one-story 1960s home in the Victorian-era neighborhood of West Hampstead in London has led to objections from her celebrity neighbors.
Actors Emma Thompson, Imelda Staunton, and Jim Broadbent, known for their roles as Professors Trelawney, Umbridge, and Slughorn in the “Harry Potter” series, have joined forces in an organized opposition against Young’s proposed architectural plans. Their complaints are varied but largely focus on the modern, boxy design of the house, which they believe doesn’t suit the Conservation Area in which it is located.
Thompson and her architect husband, Greg Wise, criticized the planned home as a better fit for Malibu than their historic London neighborhood. Staunton and her husband, Jim Carter of “Downton Abbey” fame, lambasted the “stark” use of metal in the design, stating it’s more suited to an industrial park than a residential area of Edwardian homes.
Both couples, along with Broadbent, expressed their worry that the new house would set a “dangerous precedent” in the area, altering its traditional aesthetic. They also raised concerns beyond just appearances. Staunton warned that the new structure would threaten local wildlife, particularly the birds that frequent her well-maintained garden. She and Thompson further argued that the proposed home could potentially compromise the privacy and safety of female students at a nearby school, given its full-length windows overlooking a cricket field used by the students.
Thompson additionally warned that glare from the home’s metallic surface could create a hazard for cricket players. Despite these multifaceted objections, Young and her team appear undeterred. A spokesperson for Scenario Architecture, the firm responsible for the home’s design, expressed surprise that “people involved in a creative industry are so conservative when it comes to another field.”