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Nov. 19, 2004, 10:07AM

Zeta-Jones could be getting 42 new neighbors

Associated Press

MUMBLES, Wales -- Local authorities have approved construction of 42 new houses next to a luxury home owned by Catherine Zeta-Jones.

The movie star and her husband, actor Michael Douglas, hadn't opposed construction of the houses on a former trailer park site in Mumbles, the seaside suburb of Swansea where Zeta-Jones grew up.

Some residents had objected to the project, claiming it would eat into open countryside and generate too much traffic. But planners on the Swansea council voted Tuesday to allow developer Taylor Woodrow to go ahead with construction.

Some have speculated the three- and four-bedroom homes will fetch top prices because of the proximity to the famous couple, who also have homes in Los Angeles, Bermuda, Majorca, Manhattan and Aspen, Colo.

"Whether or not being a neighbor of a Hollywood star is an allure I cannot say," said councilor Mark Child, who voted against the development. "I know it would not be for me. You cannot turn a corner in this area without there being some sort of link to Zeta-Jones."