Boris Johnson faces obstacle with new £3.8M mansion, and it involves an old slimy enemy

The former PM once blamed 'newt-counting' for slowing down building development in the UK. Now, his old amphibious enemy is delaying the construction of an outdoor pool at his Oxfordshire mansion.

Local newts have put a dampener on Boris Johnson’s pool plans
© WPA Pool / Collectif
Local newts have put a dampener on Boris Johnson’s pool plans

In May, Boris Johnson was criticized for splashing out £3.8 million on Brightwell Manor, a nine-bed Oxfordshire mansion that he paid for in cash. The property is 400 years old and comes with five acres of land, an annexe, a guest cottage, a garage, a tennis court, a walled garden, and two stables.

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It is now home for Boris Johnson, his wife Carrie, and their three young children. The former PM and MP had allegedly complained in the past about his combined salary of more than £160,000 and - though he did negotiate £200,000 off the asking price - many saw this recent purchase as a little hypocritical

Boris Johnson predicted his own planning permission fate

Now, it seems that karma has come knocking at Boris Johnson’s door with a small, slimy fist. In 2020, the former Prime Minister gave a speech on rebooting the economy in which he stated that ‘newt-counting’ is ‘a massive drag on the productivity and the prosperity of this country’.

By ‘newt-counting’, Boris Johnson was making reference to the surveys carried out in advance of development, designed to protect the great crested newt population. The former PM had little sympathy for these slippery creatures and blamed this activity for slowing down building in the UK.

Read more: Boris Johnson shocks readers with first Daily Mail column: 'Underwhelming, to say the least'

The proposed 11 by 4 metre outdoor swimming pool will have to wait

Now, Boris Johnson’s own plans to add an 11 by 4 metre outdoor swimming pool to his moated mansion are being delayed due to the presence of great crested newts. These little amphibians thrive in the area and have been protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act since 1981.

A local countryside officer has warned that the proposed site of the pool ‘falls within the red zone of highest risk’ and has advised that planning permission should not be granted without further assessment.

The Johnson family may have to do without their pool for a while, but at least Boris Johnson will get to say ‘I told you so’.

Read more:

Boris Johnson: Details about the thousands of pounds he earns per hour revealed

Boris Johnson once offered his lover Carrie Symonds a top job in his office

Sources used:

BBC News: Boris Johnson's swimming pool plans threatened by newts

Sky News: Cute newts put Boris Johnson's pool in disrepute

Mirror: Boris Johnson paid £3.8m cash for nine-bed mansion – after 'complaints about £160k salary'

House & Garden: Boris and Carrie Johnson move into new £3.8m moated mansion in Oxfordshire – see inside

Boris Johnson reportedly richer than ever before as latest £3.8M purchase has been revealed Boris Johnson reportedly richer than ever before as latest £3.8M purchase has been revealed