U2’s guitarist, The Edge, is at the centre of environmental controversy over plans to build his ‘Dream Home’ in Malibu, California. His plan involves building a home and four additional properties out of sight of his own home that he would then sell off at an estimated £10m per property. The neighbours have cricised the guitarist’s motives, one of them commenting that,
“This is hypocritical to the core for a man who has spent his career preaching environmental issues. He is obviously trying to make a profit but it’s not as if he needs the money, is it? It is an overly ostentatious and self-serving development.”
There is concern over the impact that the development would have on the local area, especially the implications for the flora and fauna for which the site is their natural habitat. Although the design is supposed to look like leaves falling down the side of the mountain, the building work would disrupt and devastate the area. One of the neighbours, a contractor himself, commented that the current road would not be sufficient to withstand the heavy machinery travelling up and down it moving the earth that would have to be excavated in order for the mansion to be built, as the top of the mountain would have to be levelled to accomodate the new property.
An unnamed local also commented that there has already been work undertaken at the site, digging a 15 foot trench to take soil samples and test the drainage in advance of work beginning later this year. She expressed concern regarding the amount of animals that could be at risk from this excavation, saying,
“This area is full of deer and foxes that could easily become stuck in a rut like that. We also have a wide variety of birds and smaller animals which will be frightened off by a huge project like this.”
Neighbours are hoping that The Edge will rethink the development and stick to his green principles rather than choosing to satisfy his own dreams.