Seymour sells up after noise dispute with neighbours

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The Independent Online

The actress Jane Seymour has finally bowed to a villagers' rebellion and sold her listed West Country mansion after a clash over her use of the house as a venue for corporate events and late-night parties.

Seymour, 56, was branded an aloof, part-time "neighbour from hell" after successfully applying for a 24-hour alcohol and entertainment licence in May.

She used the 13-bedroom building, at St Catherine on the edge of Bath for a string of raucous parties and business events, with neighbours describing how the single-track lane leading to the mansion was frequently clogged up with cars and lorries.

Seymour hit back, accusing her neighbours who even marched on the house of fame-seeking and envy, adding that the campaign against her activities was being conducted by people "on an ego trip... by attacking a celebrity, they got to be famous".

But it has now emerged that in the past few weeks she caved in to the pressure, and with her husband, a producer, James Keach, 59, has come to a deal through a mystery buyer.

Seymour bought the Somerset house for 350,000 in 1984. She spends most of the year in Malibu , California, but spent millions on refurbishment over the years, renting the desirable property out for up to 28,000 a week, for weddings and business events.

But the actress also hosted a number of late-night parties, inviting a stream of celebrities to the mansion as well as renting it out to pop stars including Robbie Williams and Radiohead.

One neighbour, Jane Jones, said: "It was never personal against Jane or her husband. We just felt the house was totally unsuitable for the events they were hosting... we just hope it will be used as a family home now."

Last month, campaigners unsuccessfully took Seymour to court, appealing against the decision by Bath and North Somerset Council to grant the licence for the late Tudor and early Jacobean Renaissance-style house.

The couple's estate manager, Hein van Vorstenbosch, claimed the licence was intended to enable guests to be able to enjoy champagne breakfasts and listen to pianists perform as part of the wedding receptions.

In 1996, the band Radiohead completed the recording of their album OK Computer at the house. But during the unsuccessful appeal, Mark Strutt, a retired major representing the villagers of St Catherine, told Bath magistrates that even when pop stars started using the house, noise was kept at a "minimum".

"The house was leased out as a premises, which was used by the likes of Robbie Williams and a pop group called The Cure," Mr Strutt said. "They would come down and stay there and compose their music.You would think having these pop groups down would be horrendous.

"But the then manager made it absolutely plain that the premises was in a noise-sensitive area and made an undertaking noise would be kept to a minimum, which it was.

"The whole scene started to change in late 2000, when it became normal for large events, one-day events, wedding receptions to be held at the house."

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