Thursday 8 December 2016

Uproar over 'garish' stripy house

Published 14/04/2015 | 14:46

A red and white striped house in South End, Kensington, London
A red and white striped house in South End, Kensington, London

A multimillion-pound house painted in "garish" candy stripes after a planning row has been branded "hideous" by neighbours.

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The townhouse underwent its unusual makeover after neighbours objected to plans to demolish the building and replace it with a new house and two-storey basement.

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.

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 fluorescent and 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 'piss 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.

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