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Posted on Tue, Mar. 02, 2004

Zeta-Jones Loses Wales Planning Dispute

Associated Press

Catherine Zeta-Jones and her parents are building a home on an estate in a fishing village in southern Wales, and they want privacy there.

But they appear to be losing an effort to force one of their neighbors to stop managing his telecommunications business from the garage of his home.

On Tuesday, the Swansea Council planning committee voted to allow Steve Gwynn to keep doing that for the next two years, despite the $1.85 million Zeta-Jones home being built.

Eight letters of objection received by councilors included one from a lawyer representing Zeta-Jones' parents, Dai and Pat, who are believed to be about to move there.

"Our clients purchased the plot and agreed to the construction of a substantial dwelling on the clear understanding that it would be private, prestigious and exclusive, and extremely safe and secure as it was a `gated' development," their letter said.

"Our clients would also be extremely concerned and alarmed that the privacy and security of the development would be jeopardized by virtue of the visits to site by members of staff, customers and delivery vehicles of Mr. Gwynn."

Zeta-Jones, who was born in Swansea, won a supporting-actress Oscar for playing jazz-singing murderess Velma Kelly in 2002's "Chicago." She is married to actor Michael Douglas.

Gwynn said his business only receives one to three visits a week, usually by couriers delivering packages.

But Councilor Howard Morgan told the committee that during a site visit by councilors last month, a group of foreign tourists were gathered outside.

"You would think they had come to visit a shrine," he said.

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