Trouble blows in for Zeta

by MARK REYNOLDS, Daily Mail 08:14am 8th July 2004
Catherine Zeta Jones

Set-back: Catherine Zeta-Jones

When Catherine Zeta-Jones decided to have a home built in her native Wales, the whole idea was to have uninterrupted views across Swansea Bay.

But yesterday she learned that, when she gazes out from the top floor of the £1.5million, three-storey house, she will be looking at the biggest wind farm in Britain.

Thirty giant propellers, each taller than the London Eye big wheel, have been approved by planners in the Welsh Assembly.

The wind farm is expected to knock at least £100,000 off the value of the house, in a small estate on the cliff tops at Mumbles.

That should not unduly concern Miss Zeta- Jones and her husband Michael Douglas, who have declared that a million pounds "is not that much to us".

Catherine will be blown away by her new view. Click on photo to enlarge!

But friends fear that this latest setback might lead them to wash their hands of the house completely and put it on the market when it is finished in the next few weeks.

A lifelong friend of Miss Zeta-Jones said: "This is just bad news after bad news. The poor girl has had nothing but trouble with this house. I hope she still intends to use it.

"The view is the whole point of living there. It is stunning, but it will not be with a wind farm in the way."

The farm will be built on Scarweather Sands between Porthcawl and Swansea. Its turbines will be the biggest in Britain - 443ft from base to the tip of the top propeller.

On a clear day they will be visible across the Bristol Channel from Somerset.

The farm will begin three miles into the sea off the eastern edge of Swansea Bay and will cover 10 square kilometres.

It will generate enough electricity for 82,000 homes.

The couple have already lost one planning battle concerning the property.

They tried in vain to stop businessman Steve Gwynne from setting up a small telecoms firm at the end of their driveway. But they did succeed in gaining permission for an extra floor, to take advantage of the view.

The plan was for the actress's parents Dai and Pat to occupy the lower two floors while the Douglases and their two children would stay on the top floor during their regular visits to Swansea.

But the friend, who still lives in the city, said: "I would not be surprised if she simply packs up and puts the house on the market."

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