High Wycombe’s James Corden has been granted permission to demolish a 1960s-style mansion in Henley after investing in a round-the-clock security system following ‘70 break-ins’ last year.

Corden, who recently moved back to the UK after nearly a decade of hosting The Late Late Show across the pond in the US, was given the green light to knock down Templecombe House, a C-shaped property in the Art Deco style, by Wokingham Borough Council last year.

The TV host and co-creator of Gavin and Stacey bought the house in December 2020, presumably with refurbishment plans in mind, and it has lain empty ever since.

Since arriving back in the UK, however, Corden has pursued plans to demolish the mansion and start afresh with a newly constructed five-bedroom build including an outdoor pool, sauna and steam room in its place. 

(Image: Oxford’s Finest Explorer)

The plans were approved in January 2023 after coming up against hurdles including an objection from English Heritage, which voiced concerns about a listed Druidic stone circle in the property’s grounds.

Approval was granted, subject to a Section 106 agreement, requiring the former talk show host to make concessions to the plans including adding lighting measures to protect bats, badgers and glow worms.

It is perhaps no wonder that Corden has been so keen to get demolition work underway – Templecombe House has been something of a bugbear to keep an eye on from Los Angeles in the last few years, with the Mirror reporting that 70 break-ins to the property were recorded in the last year alone.

(Image: Oxford’s Finest Explorer)

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Although there is no proof that the High Wycombe native ever stayed at the house, it has been targeted by trespassers enticed by its well-known owner, with one particularly daring ‘explorer’ videoing themselves walking around the site and its grounds.

YouTuber Oxford’s Finest Explorer posted a video on the platform looking around the “rotting” mansion in March 2022, showing viewers everything from a drained swimming pool with what appeared to be a swastika painted on one of the walls to an empty kitchen space, bathrooms and lounge areas.

(Image: Oxford’s Finest Explorer)

Corden’s agents initially applied for permission to replace the detached pool house with a two-storey swimming pool building but removed it from the application after backlash from English Heritage because of its proximity to the Druidic circle.

Acting on his behalf, representatives for the Atlantic Swiss Agency have submitted a construction environment management plan, a woodland and tree management plan and other reports that met the project’s approval conditions.