A property, which has been at the centre of a planning row for almost two years, has been given a bizarre paint job. The £15 million townhouse, tucked away in a quiet cobbled mews in South Kensington, has been given a shocking new look - painted with bright red and white stripes. The stripes were added over the course of a single evening, and have horrified some of the neighbours.
The property, which now has a Southampton-football-kit-style paint job, has been at the centre of an ongoing row over planning. According to the Daily Mail, it was bought by Zipporah Lisle-Mainwaring, aged 71, who successfully applied to have the use changed from offices to storage.
She applied to convert the property to become a home, and build a two-storey basement extension. This was refused in July 2013; the refusal was overturned on appeal, but was overturned again at the High Court.
She then applied to demolish the house, and replace it with another - with a double basement. This was submitted, refused, then granted on appeal. A neighbour then lodged a complaint, so the High Court will consider it in June. In the interim, two further planning applications have been submitted.
By contrast, the paint job was done in a single evening, and did not require planning permission because the building isn't listed. Although it is in a conservation area, the council does not require planning permission for redecoration of external walls. The Evening Standard reported that it had upset the neighbours all the same.
It's not the first time an unusual paint job has concerned the neighbours. In February this year we reported on the family in Greenock, Inverclyde, who spent £3,000 painting their home yellow. The neighbours complained, and the council insisted the family applied for retrospective planning permission. This particular council has more restrictions on paint colours in the area, so permission was refused. It insisted the property was repainted with a soft pastel colour.
Similarly, two years ago, Ann Kennedy, the owner of a 17th century thatched cottage in a Devon village, was ordered to repaint her house. Her house had always been pink, but when she refreshed the colour, she went for a slightly darker hue, and when a neighbour complained, the council threatened legal action unless she repainted it again.
Even the rich and famous are not immune. In 2013, celebrity chef Marco Pierre White was forced to repaint his hotel in Lavenham, after his choice of a darker shade of pink upset locals. He was subject to tough rules, as the property is Grade II-listed, so agreed to repaint it.
But what do you think? Should anyone else be able to tell you what colour you can paint your house?
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