A multimillion-pound house in one of London's most exclusive areas has been painted like a beach hut in an apparent attempt to annoy the neighbours.
The "garish" candy stripes were painted on the house after a planning row in which locals objected to a request to demolish the building and replace it with a new house and two-storey basement. Words: PA.
The controversial plans were turned down by Kensington and Chelsea Council in London but given the green light on appeal.
Neighbours have vowed to fight the plans and have launched an appeal at the High Court.
Residents in the quiet cul-de-sac in Kensington, one of London's richest neighbourhoods, said they are being driven "mad" by the colourful redesign, which has become an inadvertent tourist attrac
Saskia Moyle, 18, who lives across the road with her father, said she was shocked to come home one night to discover men up ladders painting the house.
"I went out for dinner one evening about a month ago and when I came back there were people on ladders painting it," she said.
"They didn't finish one of the stripes because as soon as I arrived they got off the ladders and left.
"I don't think it belongs here. It kind of glows in the evening. It's fluorescent. And the half-finished stripe is driving me mad. It drives me insane."
She added: "It's very garish. Without sounding very pretentious it isn't very Kensington. It's more Camden or something like that."
Asked if she liked the new design or thought the house was a tacky monstrosity, she laughed and added: "I think tacky monstrosity, we all hate it."
According to planning documents on the council website, the owner wants to demolish the building and replace it with a five-storey home, which would include a two-storey basement.
But the drastic plans sparked a flurry of complaints from neighbours.
Another neighbour, who asked to remain anonymous, branded the paint job "horrendous".
She said: "It's between unbelievably hideous and very funny. I think it's horrendous."
"It's funny but it's probably not the nicest gesture. It's kind of a 'p**s off' I think.
"Architecturally it doesn't belong here. It is pretty hideous."
The woman said plans to expand the townhouse in the pretty, cobbled, west London street are hugely unpopular with neighbours.
And she believes the distinctive paint job is a provocative gesture which has riled neighbours.
She said: "I obviously don't want anyone to dig down with all the builders, it would be a living hell.
"I work from home and so am here all day.
"Clearly we don't have enough billionaires in the area - we need more."
One neighbour, who asked to remain anonymous, said: "It doesn't really disturb me that much. There are some people who are upset, but I can't imagine it being very permanent."
A council spokesman said the painting of a building does not require planning permission.
Can you beat these for British eyesores?
London house worth millions painted like a beach hut
There’s no denying the jaunty playfulness of this shopping centre, one of the South West’s biggest. However, The Times newspaper derided Drake Circus as a ‘monocultural lump’, and Channel 4 promptly nominated it for nukedom in its Demolition series. At least the shopping centre wiped the floor at the National Loo Awards, winning the prestigious Attendant of the Year award.
Despite the £789 million it cost to build, and its starring role in a Bond film, in 2002 Forbes placed the Millennium Dome top of a list of the world’s most hideous buildings. Now snappily titled the O2 and restyled as an entertainment venue, it is still rightly celebrated among the world’s naffest.
Commissioned for the 2012 Olympic Park, designed by Anish Kapoor, caused controversy. Some called it an eyesore, others a thing of beauty. Th mother of all helter-skelters, Britain's largest public sculpture was branded a "jumbled mess" and a "drunken party animal of a building" by The Guardian.
This sore-eye institution dominates Bristol’s inner city, an area also known as The People’s Republic of Stoke’s Croft on account of its alternative spirit. Renowned for its graffiti and street art, this building has been derelict for more than thirty years, during which six people have died in it.
This may be known as The Theatre of Dreams, but we reckon this stadium is an architectural nightmare. Seen from a distance, it looks like a giant warehouse, anonymous and surrounded by imposing steel structures that are most unpleasing to the eye.
Brum. A city with a proud tradition in architectural anomalies. This 90-metre tower, completed in 2006, is the latest off the West Midlands conveyer belt. On top of its 28 storeys is Birmingham’s first penthouse suite, which set its owner back £1.65m.
The MI6 building which features in Skyfall. Designed by Terry Farrell, the building opened in 1994 and has been slammed for its ugliness...
Inspired by the ideas of a French architectural legend called Le Corbusier, Park Hill was conceived as ‘streets in the sky’ but went on to be described by a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) as ‘one of Britain’s most vile buildings’ and voted Europe’s ugliest in a poll. The jury is still out on this 50s vision of utopia, but it’s a Grade II-listed building, so somebody must like it.
OK, so the views from this huge four-star hotel are simply stunning from the inside - many rooms overlook Hyde Park and the city of London - but from the outside we think it's an eyesore and a half. Built in the 1960s, even various overhauls haven't managed to hide the fact that it's plain ugly-pugly.
"A tour de force in arts and crafts and quality without parallel in the last 100 years of British architecture" is how one critic describes this award-winning structure in Edinburgh’s UNESCO World Heritage city centre. Its roofline is intended to evoke the crags of the Scottish landscape, but, hey, let’s be honest, it looks like weird cows grazing in a field – at a cost of over £400m (original budget, £40m).
Cathedrals normally conjure up heavenly thoughts, but the opposite is true of this Merseyside building, designed by architect Frederick Gibberd in the 1960s. It was voted seventh in CNN's Top Ten Ugliest Buildings in the World in 2012. The unfriendly spikes and space-age fortress look do nothing for its appeal for congregants.
Finished in 1973, the Tower Hotel is widely despised, thanks to its hideous burnt-toast façade and an unfortunate proximity to some of London’s more charming efforts, such as the Tower of London and Tower Bridge.
Producing ferocious attacks of biliousness in architects all over the land, St George Wharf is a recent addition to London’s pantheon of eyesores. The design brief for the Wharf was to "create a thriving Thames riverside community worthy of its place amongst some of Europe's most spectacular landmarks". Hmm.
Wales's National Assembly building, designed by Richard Rogers was opened in March 2006 at a total cost of £70million. Designed to be sustainable, the building was norminated for the Stirling prize by the Royal Institute of British Architects. But some claim it deserves nothing but a booby prize....
This little gem was singled out in a recent annual Carbuncle Cup contest run by Building Design magazine to find the ugliest building in the UK. Judges called it a "horribly misconceived idea of the avant-garde."
Another building singled out for the Carbuncle Cup 2012.
Also known as the Brown and Root Tower, this 19-storey blot on the Sarf London landscape is covered in netting to prevent falling debris taking out passers-by. Over 80 per cent of locals cite it as the worst thing about living in the area. In November 2011, the Satirical website S*** London, which documents "urban decay at its finest", crowned this the ugliest building in the capital. The website describes the vacant 17-storey building as: "A grim black edifice that looms over this corner of London like a brutalist twist on Tolkien... Rumours that this actually sucks in light and feeds off the joy and vigour of local residents are unsubstantiated."
London house worth millions painted like a beach hut
After years of craning our necks up, the View from the Shard is finally open for a spot of looking down on London. It’s sleek, stylish and does boast pretty incredible views. But for a fraction of the price (£3), you can stretch your legs and take in the town from the top of The Monument. Steeped in history, the building is bursting with character to be explored. Plus you get a rather charming certificate to prove you mastered the 311 steps. A short stroll away is the Heron Tower, where you can get a beer and a bar stool with just as good a view. Sorry Shardy.
It might miss the mark on exotic animals roaming around, but London’s city farms are free and fabulous. Head to Mudchute Farm in the east (riding the front seat of the DLR as you do), and spend a morning with sheep, donkeys, pigs and llamas, all with the backdrop of Canary Wharf overseeing proceedings. The café serves excellent hot and cold food, best washed down with a glass of homemade lemonade. Other farm locations in the capital include Vauxhall, Hackney and Kentish Town.
Every fancy hotel in London promises the best afternoon tea - seriously expensive scones and prim placemats guaranteed. For much more character (and just as good cake), head to the Secret Tea Room in Soho - above the Coach and Horses at 29 Greek Street (W1D 5DH). You take your seat via the washing up sink, and absolutely nothing matches. Which is all part of the charm. Afternoon tea from £17 per person, booking recommended.
The aromas of ostrich burgers and piles of cheese samples attract over four million visitors a year to Borough Market. A treat for the all the senses, yes, but this market does get jolly busy. Take a trip out of town to Greenwich and visit the roof-covered river side market for atmosphere, crafts, clothes and mouth-watering food to go. Watch the afternoon go by from the top of the hill.
A walk through Leicester Square or down Shaftsbury Avenue shows that chip shops in London are two a penny. But there’s nothing special about those ghastly Angus restaurants on every corner. Forget airs and graces and take a seat at the outdoor seating of Rock and Sole Plaice. Not only does the oldest London chippie get five stars for its epic punnery, but the fat chips, crispy batter and hearty mugs of tea make it a winning pit stop.
If you don’t fancy a dip in a lido or cold pond when the Great British Summer is in full swing (i.e, still a wee bit chilly), head to Oasis Sports Centre for a swim in the (heated!) outdoor pool. It’s blocked in by office and housing blocks, and the odd palm tree perched pool side gives it more than enough character. All for under £5 a swim.
Queuing around the block and a £15 entry fee? We do love a fish but a family day out with our scaly friends could easily top £100 if you head to London Aquarium. Never fear, there’s a little known gem in Dulwich called The Horniman Museum, with a £3 a pop aquarium, complete with star fish, sea horses and everyone’s favourite; the jellyfish.
Get your fix of the famous Abbey from the outside, then nip down the road to its less-famous cousin, Westminster Cathedral. Entry is free, and for £5 you can get the lift to the top of the tower for a view of the capital. Let us know if you also get the slightly dodgy tale from the guide about Will proposing to Kate at the top of the Tower…
The large yellow London duck which breezes along the Thames is a familiar sight in London and it's hugely popular with tourists. But you can get (almost) as close to the water - and thankfully stay a lot drier - with a ride on the Thames Clipper boat, all for the cost of a tube ride. Hop on board at Embankment and go all the way to Greenwich to get a real feel for the shape of the city. The snake of the river will surprise even the most hardened Londoner.
You might not get the recorded guide, but you certainly see the ‘real’ London with a ride aboard a public bus route, which naturally is cheaper than a tour bus. Buy a map and aim for the front seat of the double decker on route 211, Hammersmith to Waterloo. You will see everything from the Royal Albert Hall to the London Eye, without spending a small fortune. Choose a weekday after rush hour, around 10am for the best chance of the top seat. Bus 9 leaving from Piccadilly Circus (towards Kensington) is another fabulous route for the sights.