Russell Brand is facing a backlash over his plans to build a recording studio in his 15th century pub.
The comedian has submitted an application to convert part of The Crown pub into a studio where he will record videos for his YouTube channel and its 6 million subscribers.
Mr Brand angered locals by purchasing the only pub in the village of Pishill, Henley-on-Thames, for £850,000 with plans to turn it into a vegan restaurant.
His company, Pablo Diablo’s Legitimate Business Firm Ltd, has applied to South Oxfordshire District Council for the further changes to the Grade II-listed The Crown.
Planning documents show Mr Brand, 47, is keen to get the work as soon as possible ahead of the launch of a new show on September 25.
Russell Brand, 47, plans to build a recording studio for his YouTube channel at his pub in Oxfordshire
Mr Brand bought The Crown pub in the small village of Pishill, Henley-on-Thames for £850,000 in 2020. He plans to turn it into a vegan restaurant
The pub, used as a popular wedding venue, is temporarily closed and being used as accommodation for Brand’s freelance staff.
The Crown has outdoor seating, a car park, a detached barn, a two-bedroom cottage and a garage.
Planning documents to support the application state: ‘The entire property has recently undergone a change of ownership and the public house is temporarily closed whilst plans to refurbish the building and formulate the nature of the new establishment are put in place.
‘The intention is to re-open the public house in due course. In the meantime, it is being occupied in part by staff working on a freelance basis for the applicant.
‘Delivery of the new studio will mean that the production staff can be relocated to it and that plans for re-opening the public house can be driven forward.’
But one neighbour has already opposed the plans, citing a stand-up show Mr Brand put on in The Barn, which is part of the pub.
She wrote: ‘A performance by Russell Brand of his stand-up show has provided a taste of life under the new owners; there were cars left anyhow and everywhere, double and triple parked with at least eight on the proposed development site.
Mr Brand faces some opposition to his plans from locals who argue the area has become too busy with his various enterprises around the pub
‘It is therefore our considered opinion that The Crown cannot currently sustain the business model adopted by the owners due to an insufficient number of parking spaces when all areas i.e. the offices, studios and performance venue (The Barn) are operational and that as Russell and Laura Brand continue to become more successful, as I hope and am sure they will be, the parking and road safety issues will only become worse.
‘I hope this email expresses my disappointment with our new neighbours’ determination to proceed with their plans regardless of the impact on our shared local environment or indeed myself and my family.
‘I sincerely hope that you can impress on them the need to stop and wait for appropriate surveys and investigations to be concluded and reported on before they take any further action.’
The Environmental Protection team and Pishill with Stonor Parish Council have also cited concerns over the impact of noise.
On 16 August, Environmental Protection proposed a ‘noise Control-Sound insulation scheme-Noise’ from inside the building – in an attempt to ‘control noise’ from inside and out the building.
The team wrote: ‘No development shall take place until a scheme for the control of noise from the building has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.’
The parish council added that they wanted to see some progress on the reopening of the pub before any additional uses are considered.
Mr Brand and his wife Laura, who live in Henley, bought The Crown in March 2020.
He said the pub will reopen and be refurbished once his recording studio has been built.
The target decision date is set for 27 September.