COMEDIAN Rowan Atkinson won permission to build his controversial ultra-modern dream countryside home — despite council officers recommending the plan be turned down.

The Mr Bean and Blackadder star will now demolish a 1930s country house near Ipsden and replace it with a five-bedroomed home in glass and bright white steel.

South Oxfordshire District Council’s planning committee rejected their officers’ recommendation to turn down the plans and opposition from local residents who branded the design “out of place” and “completely inappropriate”.

The 55-year-old film star paid world-renowned New York- based architect Richard Meier to create his vision.

The current Handsmooth House has been labelled “bland, uninspiring and unattractive”.

The design brief from Mr Atkinson and his wife was to produce an “exemplary contemporary design, aimed to inspire, yet to be practical to live in”.

At the planning meeting, Mr Atkinson, who said he had lived in the district for 28 years, promised the property would not be out of keeping.

He told councillors his neighbours “need have no fears”.

He said: “I don’t want to live in a house that is weird or futuristic, but one that is simple, graceful and elegant.”

Mr Atkinson agreed his new home would stand out from, rather than blend in with, the landscape.

However, he said that was not grounds to reject the plans, but simply a description of how good architecture worked.

He continued: “The home will add to our architectural heritage rather than parody it.”

Ipsden parish councillors and the Chilterns Conservation Board were among those who raised objections that the building would be “conspicuous” and look out of character.

However, some residents wrote letters of support for the design, as did a number of architects.

Mr Atkinson’s planning consultant, Haydn Morris, said of Mr Meier: “He has built extensively around the world, winning very many awards, and he’s very highly regarded as one of the world’s leading architects.

“We truly believe that the proposal is not simply a replacement house, but a building that will stand the test of time to become a true classic.”

Council planning officers recommended the plans were refused due to the “angular form, white finish and the extent of the glazing, which would result in builds which appear as stark features in contrast to the rolling rural landscape of the area of outstanding natural beauty”.

One resident said Mr Atkinson's new home would look like a “space-age petrol station”.

Another, Emma Hulbert, branded the design “inappropriate” for its hillside site.

She said: “This application proposes an ultra-modern house which dominates the surrounding landscape.

“While the modern architecture may be appropriate in London, it is wholly inappropriate to the rural landscape.”

Farmer Ben Yates, 45, said: “The houses round here are alltraditionally built. His will stick out like a sore thumb.”

The district councillor for Crowmarsh, John Griffin, said: “We want not to be so unadventurous and say everything has to be brick and flint and traditional.

“This could be something we are proud to have there. And this opportunity comes along only when somebody has enough money to hire the top architect.”

Backing for the plans came from architect Lord Richard Rogers, who praised Mr Meier as “the greatest designer of houses today”.

In a letter to the council, he said: “The eroded white cuboid is carefully ordered in terms of scale, play of light and shadow, proportion and interlocking spaces.”

Mr Meier created the three- floor property to replace Handsmooth House, an 80-year-old country house, along with a guest pavilion. The application also included proposals for a new garage, tennis court, barns, and landscape work.