Owner of candy-striped house in Kensington told to repaint

Rosie Vare
Red and white striped house
Red and white striped house

A high-profile planning dispute over the paint job on a Kensington house has finally come to a close.

Zipporah Lisle-Mainwaring, 71, controversially decided to paint her property in bright red and white candy stripes in protest against a planning request that was denied.

The homeowner wished to extend the property underground with a further two storeys and swimming pool but the plans were rejected by the local council.

Although it is in a conservation area, the council does not require planning permission for redecoration of external walls. But, as the Evening Standard reported, the unavoidable renovation upset the neighbours all the same, with some describing it as an 'eyesore seaside house'.

However, the council can revoke the homeowners right to paint their houses if they receive complaints over the issue, which is exactly what they have done.

The council in Kensington and Chelsea are invoking Section 215 of the Town and Country Act which can be used when the condition of a property "adversely affects the amenity of the area".

Not only have the council pulled up the homeowner over the colour of her house, they've also complained over the state of the property's windows, the Independent reports.

It seems that now Zipporah Lisle-Mainwaring will have to take the time to repaint the frontage of her house a much more civilised white.

A council spokesman has said: "The property is situated within the Kensington Square Conservation area and its condition and appearance has attracted numerous complaints to the council's planning enforcement team.

"The owner has the right to appeal the notice by June 5 in the magistrates' courts but, if no appeal is forthcoming, the owner must repaint the front elevation white and carry out repairs to the windows by July 3.

They also added: "If the notice is not complied with by July 3 then the council can enter the property and carry out the necessary works. Furthermore the council can charge the owner for the costs in carrying out the works and prosecute them in the magistrates' courts."

Original planning row

Ms Lisle-Mainwaring 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.
Paint jobs

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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Neighbours Seek Revenge by Painting Red Stripes on Their Kensington Townhouse
Neighbours Seek Revenge by Painting Red Stripes on Their Kensington Townhouse