A house owner has got one over her neighbours after they scuppered her plans for a triple basement redevelopment in South End, Kensington, a cobbled west London mews. The woman said to be Zipporah Lisle-Mainwaring then proceeded to paint the three-storey townhouse valued at £15m in red and white stripes after a protracted planning and legal battle with residents. The Royal Borough which recently outlawed certain basement conversions has been plagued by so- called ‘iceberg homes’ for many years until it finally moved to restrict their explosion.
The plans studied by West London Today included a triple basement comprising a swimming pool, a gym and media room. It is believed Ms Lisle-Mainwaring who is at loggerheads with neighbours wants to demolish the present structure and expand it from three storeys to five storeys with four bedrooms. But it is her latest move that has brought a whiff of comedy into an otherwise bitter affair and with it throngs of amused visitors.
Social media is already abuzz about the house described by locals as resembling a ‘beachside hut’ as tourists, sightseers and residents pay a daily pilgrimage to the street to view the unmissable spectacle. Selfies have been posted on Twitter and Instagram as the story seems certain to become ‘viral’. Instagram user Gillian Orr posted the selfie of a friend sporting an identical stripe shirt as he posed in front of the terraced house for a matching selfie. Another user, ‘heawood’ commented: “I like the sound of this woman,” msaimeephillips exclaimed: “That house is FABULOUS!” Another instagram user Joshua Longmore simply captions his photo of the house: “Dem stripes.”
A woman out walking a dog shook her head when WLT asked if she was happy living next door. She said the owner of the building does not live at the address and doesn’t visit often having only been seen some weeks ago. She won’t confirm if a complaint had been made to the council. A Sky news crew was filming outside and the cameraman said they’d knocked on some doors but nobody wanted to speak.
Another neighbour Saskia Moyle told MailOnline about the angst of residents who have had to endure the ‘eyesore’, she complained: “The neighbours are all horrendously unhappy with it. Everyone’s complained. We all hate it. It’s a bit of an eyesore.
“The woman who owns it put in a planning application to go down two floors but it was rejected and now we think she’s trying to do this so the council is forced to demolish it.
“She wants to demolish it and re-build it which would take about six years and that will be a nightmare. It will apparently be worth £25million but that seems slightly unnecessary.
Locals believe the ‘vindictive’ paint-job was done under the cover of darkness as residents went to bed. The Royal Borough planning department has not commented on the development which residents say cannot be allowed to remain unchallenged as the neighbourhood is a designated conservation area. However, there are currently no planning laws in the UK forbidding painting any dwelling in any pattern or colours. Parts of Notting Hill are famous for buildings wearing pastel coats.
Miss Moyle continued: “She knew by painting it that she’d get a reaction because it’s a conservation area. They painted it in less than a day. They came quite late one evening and by 11pm they were done. It’s not even finished, they missed the top right-hand corner by the lamppost.”
She added: “I don’t like it. I think it would’ve been more suited somewhere like Camden but it isn’t very Kensington. I’d prefer it to be re-painted.”