A TV star nicknamed ‘Mrs Bling’ has a heated privacy row with her neighbor over his new balcony, which she says means he can look into her garden, making her feel uncomfortable when she wearing a bikini.
Celebrity interior designer Celia Sawyer, star of Channel 4 series Four Rooms, has accused neighbor Neil Kennedy of a “disgraceful” breach of planning rules over his swank Millionaires’ Row home.
She and her husband Nick had no objection to the retired accountant’s plans to demolish a £2million bungalow next to their home overlooking Poole harbor and replace it with a modern three-storey home.
But when construction began, they claimed Mr Kennedy had failed to stick to the approved plans.
In particular, they were angry about the extended balcony, which, they say, overlooks the back garden and sun terrace.
The 57-year-old TV personality said: “We refuse to be overlooked.” “When I’m in a bikini I feel very uncomfortable.”
Celebrity interior designer Celia Sawyer (pictured), star of Channel 4 series Four Rooms, has accused neighbor Neil Kennedy of a “disgraceful” breach of planning rules over his swank Millionaires’ Row home.
She and her husband Nick had no objection to the retired accountant’s plans to demolish a £2million bungalow next to their home overlooking Poole Harbor and replace it with a modern three-storey home (pictured, center right).
But when construction began, they claimed Mr Kennedy had failed to stick to the approved plans. In particular, they were upset about the extended balcony (pictured), which they say overlooks the back garden and sun terrace
She and her husband are also upset about an air source heat pump that was built without a permit on the flat roof of Mr. Kennedy’s home.
Windows were also installed on both sides of the new house, one of which looks directly into the other neighbor’s bedroom.
Mr Kennedy has now applied for retroactive approval allowing the changes to remain in place.
The dispute has cast a shadow over the otherwise quiet cul-de-sac of Sandbanks.
The properties there have rear gardens that face the waterfront and offer panoramic views over Poole Harbour.
The Sawyers bought their luxury home in 2007 for £2.4 million. It is now worth over £4 million.
Ms Sawyer has called on the council to take enforcement action against Mr Kennedy.
Windows were also installed on both sides of the new house
One of them looks directly into the other neighbor’s bedroom
The view from Celia Sawyer’s house to Neil Kennedy’s estate
She said, “We’re not talking to Mr. Kennedy.”
“This construction took about three years and it broke so many planning rules.”
“There’s a staircase on the wrong side of the building, there are two windows on each side of the house that look out onto our property and the neighbor’s property – there shouldn’t have been any windows on the side of the house.”
“Luckily the ones on our side only look at the side of our house, while the others look straight into the neighbor’s bedroom.”
“The patio extension covers the entire balcony, we have no privacy.” He says it’s just for maintenance, but he can literally stand there and look into our garden, that shouldn’t be allowed.
“There’s a 60-decibel air heater that shouldn’t be on the roof and an air conditioner that he didn’t plan for.”
“The council is really out of order, they haven’t done anything about it.”
“So far they have rejected all of his subsequent planning applications, but they should have added something to his house. He shouldn’t be allowed to live there until he gets permission.”
The properties there have rear gardens that face the waterfront and offer panoramic views over Poole Harbour
The Sawyers bought their luxury home (pictured left) in 2007 for £2.4 million
A picture of Mr Kennedy’s house shows the balcony and the new heat pump on his roof
“I think he just knows how to work the system because they are so inefficient that nothing gets done and he gets away with it.”
“It’s not OK and it’s a disgrace that other people are being punished for trying to do things right and someone like him gets away scot-free.”
“Why do any of us bother getting planning permission if it doesn’t matter?”
“We’re just confused about it, it’s shocking.”
In a letter to the council objecting to its latest retrospective planning application, Mr Sawyer said: “Initially we raised no objections to the plans originally submitted and approved.”
“Mr. Kennedy showed us his plans and assured us that he would be happy to accommodate our requests.”
“We advised that the only objections would be loss of privacy and unsightly additions to the sides of the building.” We were pleased to see that the planning department shared our concerns.
“However, Mr Kennedy’s real plan was to blatantly breach the planning permission and completely disregard his previous agreement with his neighbours.”
The two properties are located in a quiet cul-de-sac on Sandbanks
The view from the street of Neil Kennedy’s house (left) and Celia Sawyer’s house (right).
An aerial view of Celia Sawyer’s home (left) and Neil Kennedy’s home (right), which has a new air source heat pump on the roof
“My wife and I are extremely dismayed by Mr. Kennedy’s actions.”
Mr. Kennedy declined to comment on the matter.
In a letter to the council, his planning consultant Martin Hanham said: “My client is not a builder or developer… he has placed all construction work in the hands of a local construction company who have commissioned another architectural firm to do it,” according to the building regulations application.
“My client was aware that very minor changes had been made during construction but did not know whether any form of planning permission was required and, if so, whether those permissions had been obtained.”
Millie Earl, BCP council deputy leader and portfolio holder for associated communities, said: “All proposals in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole areas must comply with local and national planning guidelines.”
“The planning application in Poole is currently being examined by the planning team and the outcome is yet to be determined.
“We have been made aware of some potential concerns surrounding this address, but as this is a live application we are unable to comment further at this time as we cannot predict the outcome of the current submission.”