Neighbours complain about noise at Vatican-owned London flat

·3-min read
The flat alongside several other luxury London homes were purchased in 2014 and overseen by cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu (REUTERS)
The flat alongside several other luxury London homes were purchased in 2014 and overseen by cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu (REUTERS)

Residents at a luxury London flat owned by the Vatican have issued numerous complaints over what they describe as “hellish noise” coming from the £30,000 per week property.

Some residents in Hans Place in Chelsea have complained to the local council about noise coming from late night gatherings at the apartment, some involving DJ’s, the Financial Times reports.

One resident living close by told FT that some people at the property held parties and social gatherings, including one that went on into the early hours in May.

A spokesperson for The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) told the Standard that their officers visited the property at 1am on May 30 to investigate the noise compliant, along with the police who removed partygoers. 

There was no music or raised voices at the time of the attendance, they said.

Another local resident said he complained to the Vatican’s ambassador in the UK.

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“I have written to Apostolic Nuncio (the Vatican ambassador) but they have done nothing about this”.

According to FT, in an email responding to the complaint, the office of the Vatican’s UK ambassador said that it hoped “action with the local authority” and others would help rectify the problem.

The vacant 9,000 square feet apartment on Hans Place includes an indoor swimming pool and large garden and is currently advertised for rent for £30,000 a week.

In correspondence seen by FT between residents and the Royal Borough of Kensington, a councillor said that the borough’s “noise and nuisance” team had written to the company through which the Vatican owns the property.

In an email sent to residents this month, the councillor reportedly wrote: “With restrictions lifting hopefully people can party in night clubs not in flats”.

The flat alongside several other luxury London homes was purchased in 2014 and overseen by cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, who became the highest-ranked cleric to be charged with financial crimes by the Vatican.

Becciu came under scrutiny for purchasing London property using church funds and has had allegations brought against him and several other Vatican officials.

The properties are held through Jersey shell companies by the Holy See unit in charge of Peter’s Pence – charitable donations which are made to the Holy See of the Catholic Church.

The company managing the Vatican property has not been accused of any wrongdoing, the FT reports.

Its spokesperson said that it was made aware of a few neighbours’ concerns regarding noise as well as lights and disturbance, which it investigated, and that it does “not anticipate any recurrence of any issues”.

An RBKC spokesperson said they have received four complaints this year relating to two parties at the property.

They added that they have written to the freeholder of the building to “make them aware of the complaints”.

“We run a late night service until 3am during the week and 5am at weekends for residents to report noise complaints and we will investigate”, they said.

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