Thursday, December 24, 2009

UK Daily Mail on the ball again ! Well almost.

10 days after the Social Shuttle reported that actress Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban are facing a battle with locals over rows of hedges and trees planted on their Bunya Hill property in Sutton Forrest in the Southern Highlands, one of Britain's top selling tabloids the Daily Mail has picked up the tale.

Bunya Hill, a Georgian mansion with 45 hectares of prime cattle land and an equestrian centre built for Lord Augustus Loftus the NSW Governor around 1887 also had a role in World War II. In 1942 it housed 60 English women and their children who had fled Hong Kong before the Japanese invasion. Kidman and Urban purchased it for about $6.5M in 2008 and set about renovating the house and lands.

Set on a hill with commanding views , part of the property runs along side a public road and the owners have bull-dozed a mound the length of the property and planted rows of trees to keep out prying eyes.

correspondent Bill Ranken who owns the magnificent Lochesleigh property nearby that has been in the family for 4 generations (considered the best in the state) has long been talking of the growing grumbles amongst locals who notice the slightest change in the area when "blow-ins", as they call them set about "updating" any one of the graceful houses in the area. Incurring the wrath of long time Southern Highlands locals is considered the kiss of death in one of the most beautiful and graceful countryside areas in Australia. One can't even plant a row of poppies without the blessing of neighbours.

When Harry Potter star Miriam Margolyes-who spends many months of the year at her Southern Highlands farm between acting jobs, wanted to erect a garden shed, she sensibly petitioned her neighbours to get their blessing before even contemplating putting plans into the council.

Forget the council chambers who have now taken on the matter, Nicole and Keith need to start baking tarts and cakes and hand delivering them about the area to the crusty faced locals.

## Digital Spy has also picked up the tale.