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Stripey house owner Zipporah Lisle-Mainwaring can finally achieve her ambition of demolishing the £4.75 million property and building a new one in its place.
The Court of Appeal ruled that Mrs Lisle-Mainwaring’s plans would benefit the well-heeled area and rejected objections from her neighbour, Niall Carroll.
The ruling means she can now go ahead with her ambitious plans for No.19 South End, in the midst of the Kensington Square conservation area.
Mrs Lisle-Mainwaring has been at odds with Mr Carroll over the house’s future ever since she “outbid” him for it in 2012, paying £4.75 million.
Mr Carroll owns the house next door, No. 18, and insisted Mrs Lisle-Mainwaring’s plans would lead to unacceptable loss of potential office space.
She painted the house in red-and-white stripes in 2015 to the dismay of some neighbours.
A government planning inspector granted her planning consent to change the building’s use from storage to residential in February last year.
After a series of public inquiries and court hearings, she also won consent to demolish the building and replace it with a brand-new luxury home.
The inspector said her proposals would “result in a degree of enhancement to the character and appearance of the conservation area.”
There were no policy objections and the project would bring the “material benefit” of providing an additional family home in the area.
The inspector’s decision was overturned by the High Court in October last year – but now Mrs Lisle-Mainwaring has triumphed in the Court of Appeal.
Her lawyers said the reversion of the house to office use would reduce its value to only about £1.4 million and would simply not be viable.
It would have made “no sense, economically or commercially” to do that, they argued.
Lord Justice Lindblom said Mrs Lisle-Mainwaring’s proposal stood to be considered “on its own merits” and that is what the inspector did.
He was entitled to conclude that there was “no real possibility” of the house returning to office use, a prospect that was “merely theoretical”.
Mrs Lisle-Mainwaring’s plans were “not in conflict” with local planning policies and passed the government’s “sustainable development” test.
And she had “clearly succeeded” in convincing the inspector that her proposals were “acceptable in their own right”.
The judge, sitting with Lords Justice McFarlane and Flaux, restored the inspector’s decision, along with the planning permissions he granted.
It is understood Carroll is now waiting to hear if he can take the case to the Supreme Court to appeal the judgment.
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