Is this a peculiarly English story?
Recently, Ms Zipporah Lisle-Mainwaring of South End, Kensington, England put forward plans to her local Kensington and Chelsea Council to redevelop her home. She wanted to add 2 floors as a basement, which would mean demolishing the existing building, digging out & re-building.
Properties on South End have changed hands for £11.5million GBP in recent years; the current estimate for her home is £15million GBP. The kind of thing that Zipporah wanted to do is a classic act for rich folks with a house in a Kensington cul-de-sac. However, council rules are extremely clear:- all major alterations in existing properties have to be cleared with those that may be affected, so news of her plans was distributed to all her neighbours.
Zipporah’s neighbours objected to her plans, and subsequently the council turned them down. Zipporah appealed the council decision & won her appeal. Her neighbours launched an appeal of the council’s final decision at the High Court.
So far, so English normal.
Zipporah was livid. In fact, she saw red. Or, to be precise, English seaside candy-stripe.
Major building works require Planning Permission from the Council. Now, some councils require Planning Permission if you want to change the colour of your front door. But not the Kensington and Chelsea Council. In Kensington, re-painting your entire home exterior requires zero planning permission...
In early April 2015 painters arrived in South End to begin work on transforming the front of Zipporah’s home. By the end of the day they had finished. Almost. (The right-hand stripe stops halfway up.)
Zipporah has achieved her goal in spades. The story of her home hit every British newspaper & TV. It has even reached The Irish Times! Good job.
--------- Alex Kemp