The owner of the infamous red and white striped house in Kensington has spent more than £1million in fees over the property following has revealed in a documentary.
Posh Neighbours at War aired on Channel 4 on May 2 and detailed the South End property’s owner Zipporah Lisle-Mainwaring and four year battle over planning applications.
It looked at the 67-year-old’s dispute with her neighbour Niall Corall, a South African businessman, and with Kensington and Chelsea Council (K&C), which had previously rejected her plans for building which resulted in the two parties heading to court.
The show also looked at the impact mega-basement developments are having in K&C, where properties are among the most expensive in the country, but where space is at a premium.
Problems began when Ms Lisle-Mainwaring, who was born and bred in nearby Chelsea , decided to move back home after spending much of her time between London and Geneva.
She bought the old office building in October 2011 in the quiet cul-de-sac after outbidding her Mr Corall for £4.75m cash.
She wanted to rip down the property and have a four-bed home with a huge basement two stories deep encompassing a gym, cinema and double-height hall for a 20 metre swimming pool.
But her plans to turn the office into a dream home became a nightmare after neighbours objected to a series of planning applications, and when these were rejected by K&C, she decided to give building its distinctive new look .
She accused her neighbour of hypocrisy saying: “Mr Corall lives in a house where a large basement was built. He completely refurbished, giving the neighbours hell for six months.”
Ms Lisle-Mainwaring took the decision the repaint the property after a number of planning application rejections.
She said: “I haven’t had much pleasure out of my investment in the house. It’s a very ugly frontage at the moment, and I thought it would both cheer the house up and cheer me up if I had it painted, so i did.
"It’s not perfect but it has charm. My neighbour didn’t like the red and white stripes and I suppose that made them more attractive to me.”
But the council issued a Section 215 order telling her to repaint the building because it was in the middle of a conservation area.
Ms Lisle-Mainwaring has challenged this ruling in court but having lost the decision is now appealing .
In total she said she had spent an “absurd seven figure” sum on a four-year battle over planning applications.
She went on: “It’s difficult for me to say how much I have spent on the battle because people will be outraged that I have spent that amount of money... this is costing me a fortune.”
Addressing the issue of mega-basement development on the documentary, K&C planning chief Cllr Tim Coleridge said: “This has been probably the single most annoying planning issue that this borough has ever had and a lot of our residents feel that those building them are actually bringing in a sort of chaos to the area that you didn’t see 20 years ago.”
Like much of London, there has been a big increase in basement developments in the borough, leading the council issue a policy to discourage super basements in 2015.
In February this year, Ms Lisle-Mainwaring was granted permission to change the building’s use from office to residential use but without the double basement. It has been reported she plans to demolish the building.
To watch Posh Neighbours at War go to 4OD .