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U2's Edge sees Malibu mansions plan rejected

Efforts by The Edge, the guitarist with U2, to build five luxury and purportedly eco-friendly mansions on a plum hillside plot in Malibu overlooking the Pacific Ocean were in tatters last night after planning permission was denied on the grounds that they would cause unacceptable environmental damage.



The Irish musician, real name David Evans, has been trying since 2006 to overcome opposition to the houses which he wants to build on a 156-acre ridge of land in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Each home, measuring up to 12,785sq ft, was meant to meet the latest green standards. But that pledge failed to impress members of the California Coastal Commission which made its decision in an 8-4 vote late on Thursday.

“In the 38 years of this commission, this is one of the three worst projects that I've seen in terms of environmental devastation,” Peter Douglas, the agency's executive director, said after the vote.

“It's a contradiction in terms – you can't be serious about being an environmentalist and pick this location.”

If built, the houses would be visible for about a mile along the Malibu coast. It is also an area roamed by mountain lions.

A spokeswoman for the guitarist, due to perform last night with U2 in Anaheim in southern California, intimated that the next step may be legal action.

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