Homeowner told: paint white house pink

A CLASSIC white picture-box cottage nestled in the heart of one of Britain's most historic medieval villages should be fairly safe from the colour police.

Dave Gooderham

A CLASSIC white picture-box cottage nestled in the heart of one of Britain's most historic medieval villages should be fairly safe from the colour police.

But Holly Bellingham - the bemused owner of such a property in Lavenham - has been ordered by her local council to get out the brushes and paint her home pink to match the colour of a house two doors down.

An astonished Mrs Bellingham, a director of Ipswich Town Football Club and chairman of Marketform - a leading Lloyds liability indemnity group - is planning to comply with Babergh District Council's demands but she is far from happy about what the authority is doing to her beloved village.

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She believes the council chiefs behind the edict for part of her Grade I listed £1million home are trying to turn Lavenham into Suffolk's very own version of “Disneyworld”.

The decision means her home will be a mixture of white and pink as the decision only affects the side of her house on Water Street while the Lady Street front will remain unchanged.

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The mother-of-two told the EADT: “The whole thing is very odd and I fear that Babergh is attempting to turn Lavenham into a weird and wonderful version of Disneyworld.

“There is no rhyme or reason and it should be our choice. You would think the council would have more important things to worry about and spend their time on than this. Babergh is making a decision based on how the properties were more than 300 years ago, when they were all one big building. But it means that some of our house will remain white and another part will be Suffolk pink.

“My husband, Simon (Turner), and I adore Lavenham and love the village dearly. We think painting our home a silly colour just to keep some bureaucrat happy is a small price to pay.”

Mrs Bellingham, who was the first woman to sit on the board in Ipswich's history, only converted her treasured home just a few years ago.

But she was told by council officials of the change after neighbour Alison Urpeth was encouraged to repaint her home last year. She and her husband, John, like the traditional Suffolk pink colour of their home but were reluctant to comment on the current situation.

And between the two houses is florist businesses Tudor Rose, a creamy green colour, where partners Pat Green and Danny Preston have yet to be informed of any changes they may have to make.

Mrs Green said: “We don't really know what has been going on. Ours is a listed property but we have had no contact with Babergh. We don't really want to comment on what Babergh might have said as we are literally stuck in the middle. But we would not want to paint our shop as all the buildings would just merge into one.”

A spokesman for Babergh District Council said: “We have written to Mrs Bellingham, who is the owner of 7, Water Street, requesting that she complies with the listed building consent granted in 2004.

“Our aim here is to ensure that numbers 7 to 9 Water Street have the same pale pink exterior colourwash - as this was originally one complete building - to distinguish them from the adjoining properties, including 10, Lady Street which is also owned by Mrs Bellingham.”

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