A TV star dubbed ‘Mrs Bling’ is locked in a furious a privacy row with her neighbour over his new balcony which she says means he can peer into her garden leaving her feeling uncomfortable when she wears a bikini.
Celebrity interior designer Celia Sawyer, star of Channel 4‘s Four Rooms, has accused neighbour Neil Kennedy of a ‘disgraceful’ breach of planning rules relating to his swanky home on the Millionaires’ Row.
She and her husband, Nick, did not object to the retired accountant’s plans to demolish a £2m bungalow next to their home overlooking Poole Harbour and replace it with a modern three-storey house.
Celebrity interior designer Celia Sawyer (pictured), star of Channel 4 ‘s Four Rooms, has accused neighbour of a ‘disgraceful’ breach of planning rules over his renovation
Celia and her husband, Nick, own the property on the left of this picture overlooking Poole Harbour worth £4million. They did not object to their neighbour Neil Kennedy demolishing a bungalow next door and replacing it with a modern three-storey house (right)
But once the building work began, they claim Mr Kennedy was not sticking to the approved plans. In particular they were livid over an extended balcony (pictured) which, they say, overlooks their back garden and sun terrace
But once the building work began, they claim Mr Kennedy was not sticking to the approved plans.
In particular they were livid over an extended balcony which, they say, overlooks their back garden and sun terrace.
Celia is a dealer on Channel 4’s Four Rooms where the public try to sell their valuable and collectible items in exchange for a cash offer from one of the four dealers.
She also hosted the BBC’s Your Home in Their Hands in which four amateur interior designers decorate two tired homes with a £15,000 makeover.
The 57-year-old TV personality said: ‘We object to being overlooked. When I’m in my bikini I feel very uncomfortable.’
She and her husband are also upset about an air source heat pump which has been built on the flat roof of Mr Kennedy’s house without permission.
Windows have also been added to both sides of the new house, with one of them looking directly into the other neighbour’s bedroom.
Mr Kennedy has now applied for retrospective permission which will allow the changes to remain.
The two properties are situated in a quiet cul-de-sac on Sandbanks
Windows have also been added to both sides of the new house – with one of them looking directly into their neighbours’ bedroom, they claim
This is the view from Mr Kennedy’s and the Sawyers’ properties overlooking the harbour
The plans for Mr Kennedy’s home which has been built with a larger balcony than he has permission for – as well as an air conditioning unit on the roof and side windows on the property. Mr Kennedy, a retired accountant has applied for retrospective permission
The dispute has cast a cloud over the otherwise quiet cul-de-sac on Sandbanks.
The properties there have rear gardens that back onto the water and have panoramic views over Poole Harbour.
The Sawyers bought their luxury home for £2.4m in 2007. It is now worth over £4m.
Mrs Sawyer has called on the local council to take enforcement action against Mr Kennedy.
Interior designer Celia (pictured) is known as Mrs Bling Channel 4 ‘s Four Rooms
She said: ‘We don’t talk to Mr Kennedy. That build has taken about three years and he has broken so many of the planning rules.
‘There’s a staircase on the wrong side of the building, there are two windows on each side of the house that overlook ours and the neighbour’s property – there weren’t supposed to be any windows on the side of the house.
‘Thankfully, the ones on our side just look at the side of our house but the other ones look directly into the neighbour’s bedroom.
‘The extension of the decking covers the entire balcony, we have no privacy. He says it’s only for maintenance but he can literally stand there and look into our garden, it shouldn’t be allowed.
‘There’s an air source heating system that is 60 decibels that shouldn’t be there on the roof and air conditioning that he doesn’t have planning for.
‘The council are really out of order, they have done nothing about it at all.
‘They have refused all of his retrospective planning applications so far but they should have put something across his house, he should not be allowed to live there until he has approval.
The properties there have rear gardens that back onto the water and have panoramic views over Poole Harbour
A picture of Mr Kennedy’s house shows the balcony and the new heat pump on top of his roof
‘I think he just knows how to play the system, because they are so inefficient nothing is getting done and he is getting away with it.
‘It’s out of order and it’s disgraceful that other people get penalised for trying to do things the right way and someone like him gets away with it.
‘Why do any of us bother getting planning permission if it doesn’t matter?
‘We’re just baffled by it, it’s shocking.’
In a letter to the council objecting to his latest retrospective planning application, Mr Sawyer said: ‘Initially we made no objections to the original plans submitted and approved.
‘Mr Kennedy showed us his plans and assured us that he would happily abide by our wishes.
‘We advised that the only objection would be loss of privacy and unsightly appendages to the sides of the build. We were pleased to see that the planning department shared our concerns.
‘However, Mr Kennedy’s actual plan was to blatantly breach the planning permission and totally disregard his previous agreement with his neighbours.
The view of Mr Kennedy’s house (left) and the Sawyers’ house (right) from the street
An aerial view of the Sawyers’ house (left) and their neighbour’s place (right), which features a new air source heat pump on the roof
‘My wife and I are extremely upset 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 put all the building works in the hands of a local construction company who appointed another firm of architects to deal with the building regulation application.
‘My client was aware that very minor changes were made during the construction phase but he was not aware as to whether any form of planning consent was required, and if so, whether such consents had been secured.’
Millie Earl, deputy leader of BCP council and portfolio holder for connected communities, said: ‘All proposals in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole areas are required to comply with local and national planning policies.
‘The planning application in Poole is currently under review by the planning team, with the outcome to be determined.
‘We have been made aware of some potential concerns relating to this address, but as this is a live application, we are unable to comment further at this time as we cannot predetermine the outcome of the current submission.’