Posh Neighbours at War

2016, Society  -  46 min Leave a Comment
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This documentary gives a look into one woman's experience trying to build her ideal home in one of Britain's most expensive neighborhoods. Zipporah Lisle Mainwaring bought her Kensington property for above market value because she could afford it, and also because she had a vision of how she could use the space. However, it became very clear to her that she would not have an easy go of it, not if her neighbor had anything to say about it.

After all, in her neighborhood, the authorities are contacted for all kinds of noise complaints ranging from the common leaf blower to loud back garden operas. If your property happens to be one of the sources of the noisy disturbances, it is not just neighborhood ostracization one is subjected to in these cases, but for Zipporah in particular it turned into a multi-million dollar legal battle.

It all started with a legal argument about whether or not she could convert the property into her dream home with a basement pool and cinema. It all came to a head when she painted the exterior of the property in bright red and white stripes.

We get to hear both sides of the issue. Her vision for her space and her neighbor's concerns about what her renovation intentions may mean for their community. The feature also highlights other cases, underscoring the lengths people are willing to go to just to either get their dream home or even just to preserve the quiet of the one they already have built.

We get to see interviews from other neighbors and community members and the interesting steps they usually take to informally deal with complaints like this one. Members of the local government and those involved in the legal aspect of the dispute also share their views on how things started, unfolded, and escalated.

It may sound like nothing short of a frivolous dispute for anyone unfamiliar with that particular type of lifestyle but it does make for a fascinating watch. The personalities involved spark humor, but knowing the cost of this dispute it looks like a serious issue, at least for the parties directly involved.

Directed by: Tom Pearson