Frustrated locals of a secluded seaside Cornish village have slammed Cate Blanchett for making their lives hell and driving away tourists due to the ‘non-stop drilling and banging’ at her renovated mansion.
The Lord of the Rings star, 54, purchased a £1.6million cottage close to the sea in Mawgan Porth in 2020 with her husband Andrew Upton but soon demolished it to create a new five bedroom ‘eco home’ complete with a pool.
The sleepy village, located just four miles north of Newquay, has been dubbed ‘Hollywood-on-Sea’ due to its popularity with A-list actors and is also home to Aquaman star Jason Momoa and 50 Shades of Grey heartthrob Jamie Dornan.
Since renovation work began at Cate’s property, many locals have complained that the ‘noisy building work’ is affecting their standard of living with an increase in works traffic from huge lorries congesting the area.
One told the Sun: ‘When you open a window you hear drilling. It makes our lives a misery.’
Lord of the Rings star Cate Blanchett, 54, purchased a £1.6million cottage close to the sea in Mawgan Porth in 2020
Mawgan Porth In Cornwall, which locals have dubbed ‘Hollywood-on-Sea’
A new development underway atop the cliffs in Mawgan Porth
Another added: ‘Tourism’s essential here. That disruption hasn’t made the owner very popular.’
Locals have long been suspicious of the new Hollywood residents and had previously claimed their idyllic area was being ‘destroyed’ by the influx.
Earlier this year, residents revealed how unaffordable ‘out of touch’ million-pound homes are being built and clueless tourists are complaining about the smell of cow dung – in the countryside!
They claimed ‘Cornwall’s best kept secret’ was on the brink of being overrun by second homeowners who are knocking down traditional 1930s bungalows to build ‘James Bond-esque Lego blocks’ which nobody can afford.
Susan Schofield, 65, who has farmed land in the area since 1973, says she is exasperated dealing with complaints from new arrivals who are oblivious to rural life.
‘They don’t seem to have any idea that this is the countryside. I have had complaints when I put cows in my field because people don’t like the smell or they expect to be able to walk across my land whenever they want,’ she said.
Local resident Susan Schofield said tourists treat the village like ‘Disneyland’ sometimes and as if ‘it’s only here for the tourists but it’s not, people live and work here’
Locals have argued that second home owners and celebs moving into the area is making it harder for younger generations to stay
Many traditional 1930s seaside homes which once characterised the village have been replaced with holiday homes for the wealthy
‘People treat it like Disneyland sometimes, like it’s only here for the tourists but it’s not, people live and work here.’
Mrs Schofield added that she now avoids the beach altogether during the summer months as it’s too busy.
Despite there being some excitement among locals that they could bump into the likes of Statham or Blanchett in a supermarket – many have argued that on top of the housing crisis, the influx of holiday rentals, second home owners and celebs moving into the area is making it even harder for younger generations to stay.
According to census data, Cornwall is the most popular destination in the UK for a second home, with 6,080 holiday homes used by 14,230 people.
Estate agent listings for Mawgan Porth appear to back up locals’ concerns as the top two properties – one not even built – have been listed for sale for £2.9million and £2.25million.
Adding to this, many locals have complained it is unfair these homes are only being sold privately and the public are unable to see floor plans, which attracts famous buyers.
With a number of flights daily between Newquay airport and Heathrow, international travel is easier than ever for the rich and famous travelling from afar to their Cornish bolthole
A look at where Mawgan Porth is located just four miles away from Newquay
Clare Coode, a buying agent with Stacks Property Search in Cornwall, told The Times celebs are ‘obsessed’ with privacy here and insist on direct access to the water from their home.
‘One famous buyer insisted that the agents walk up every hill for miles around to ensure the house he wanted couldn’t be snapped by the paparazzi,’ she said.
‘He rejected the house in the end for that reason, even though it was perfect in every other way.’
And with a number of flights daily between Newquay airport and Heathrow and designated landing areas for helicopters – international travel is easier than ever for the rich and famous travelling from afar to their Cornish bolthole.
Andrew Adams, a buying agent specialising in Somerset, Bristol and Bath, told The Times: ‘Each of these airports has seen a significant increase in private aircraft usage in the past few years as the region has become more popular with high net worth purchasers.’
The West Country’s long-standing food reputation is also a factor in pushing celebs to the West Country as high-profile chefs such as Rick Stein, Nathan Outlaw and Jamie Oliver have a number of restaurants in the area.
Its perfect surfing conditions may, too, have been a factor in luring A-listers familiar with the beaches of California.