Mrs George Clooney, otherwise known as Amal Alamuddin, the London human rights barrister, is creating a furore with neighbours over the restoration – is that the right word for what is happening? – to the house she and George are ‘working on’ in the Berkshire countryside.
The home is having a home cinema, as you would expect of a Hollywood star, full security throughout, a 60 foot swimming pool, hot tub, CCTV cameras about and a vandal-resistant dome that can identify stalkers and others in any direction.
The home, near Reading, is a magnificent riverside estate with new gates for security and eight 18 foot poles with additional cameras to ensure security remains tight at all times.
But the multi-million dollar work is failing to impress neighbours, who say the constant goings-on with lorries, diggers and noise was creating “chaos” in the village.
One neighbour reported by the Daily Mail said: ‘I used to be able to enjoy a short walk along the river and through the village twice a day. Now I am reluctant to take my dog out because I have no idea what I will be faced with.
‘I have lived here for 20 years and never seen anything like this – there is a total lack of respect and disregard for us other residents and there is a really bad negative impact on our village.’
As the Mail reports:
Even before the work began, the 17th Century property was already something of a luxury. The ivy-covered home boasts a suite of elegant reception rooms with high ceilings, book-lined walls, chandeliers and open fireplaces. There is also a gym and steam room, a library, study, family room, formal dining room and cellar and a boat house.
Eye and Dunsden Parish Council initially objected to the camera plans, claiming they would represent a ‘potential infringement of the privacy of neighbouring properties.’
The council also suggested that the poles would be a ‘visual intrusion’ into the village’s conservation area, adding: ‘A more appropriate security stem could be achieved by a greater number of inward-facing low-level cameras.’
But the couple’s planning agent Paul Butt submitted an amended application which planned to reduce the height of the two tallest CCTV support posts.
Planning bosses rubber-stamped the amended plans, saying they ‘would not be detrimental to the special architectural and historic interest of the listed building or its setting.’
The council’s decision notice, which was published in August, added that the work must be carried out within three years of the date of consent.
Among the celebrity couple’s neighbours are the illusionist Uri Geller and Led Zeppelin founder Jimmy Page.