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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 December, 2003, 12:56 GMT
Planners against Owen extension
Lower Soughton Hall
Lower Soughton Hall is a Grade II listed building
Footballer Michael Owen's plans for a new garage and games room at his 2m home in Flintshire are expected to get the red card.

Planning officials want to turn down a scheme by the Liverpool and England striker for additions to his Grade 2-listed mansion at Lower Soughton Hall near Mold.

Owen wants to build a triple garage and games room to house his collection of cars, snooker and table tennis tables.

Flintshire Council will consider the application on 7 January but officials are recommending it is rejected.

The 24-year-old star has already spent more than 500,000 on home improvements - including a swimming pavilion and a stable block.

Car collection

The footballer, who lives in the house with girlfriend Louise Bonsall and their baby daughter Gemma, now wants to build a three-storey building measuring 45ft by 20ft, linked to his home by a corridor.

The building would have room for three cars under cover with a parking court in front.

The top storey would house a games rooms.

Owen owns at least five cars including a Jaguar XKR, an Aston Martin DB7 Vanquish, a Range Rover V8 Vogue, Chrysler Voyager.

The hall itself dates back to the Elizabethan period but was largely re-built in 1865.

Officials say the scale and style of the new building would be out of keeping with the imposing original Victorian architecture.

Michael Owen
Michael Owen wants to build a triple garage

"The main land use issue concerns the impact of the development on the architectural and historic interest of Lower Soughton Hall," says a report to Flintshire councillors.

The report says garage building and enclosed courtyard would "have an unacceptable, adverse impact on the historic character and appearance of the hall and its historic landscaped setting."

However, local councillor Tony Sharps says he will back the development.

"Michael Owen just wants somewhere to keep his vehicles under cover and that would be better than having them parked in front of the hall," he said.

"I think the planning officer is wrong in this case."

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