Friday, 11 December 2009
Dolly Draper and Mrs in Battle with Neighbours
Derek Draper and Kate Garraway's relationship with their neighbours is in tatters after the row over her loft conversion intensified.
The couple have angered their local residents' group by challenging its constitution.
Kate, 42, and husband Derek Draper won the latest stage of an increasingly bitter four-year battle over the conversion, which neighbours claimed did not meet conservation criteria.
During an appeal against a council planning enforcement notice the couple questioned the make-up of the Arlington Association residents' group.
A council official who ruled in favour of Garraway and Draper said: "I record the challenge to the constitution of the association, and his claim that if a resident who claims to be chairman of the association spoke at the hearing the procedure would be invalidated."
But neighbours last night hit back. One said: "Kate Garraway may have won this battle but she is losing the war. She is hated around here and has caused us misery since she started this loft conversion.
"Attacking the residents' group tells you all you need to know about her."
The row began in 2005 after Garraway put in a planning bid to build a nursery for daughter Darcey at their £1million home in Islington, North London.
It was thrown out as the extension did not suit the conservation area. But the couple began building anyway. In November 2006, when the work was complete, they put in a retrospective second application for the conversion.
Neighbours protested and a year later permission was refused, prompting an angry outburst from Garraway at a residents' meeting.
The council told her she must take the conversion down or alter it.
Last year the couple were ordered to make £15,000 of changes to satisfy planners, who later granted permission. A friend of the pair said: "It has only ever been the same three or four neighbours complaining out of hundreds.
"Kate and Derek support the conservation area and have bent over backwards to stay within the rules."
Funny that eh! Derek Draper staying within the rules,...........well not if his proffessional qualifications or his Labour List work standards are anything to go by.