Dear neighbours... sorry about the building work, here's £45,000 (and a Hoover) Yours, the Clooneys: George and Amal offer compensation for noise caused by Berkshire home renovations
- Refurbishment works on Clooneys’ Grade II-listed property began in late 2015
- Deal with neighbours John Grove, 58, and his wife Clare, 49, included a holiday
- Included construction of 12-seater cinema, 60ft swimming pool and tennis court
- At one point, the Clooneys had 1,000 mature trees transported to the estate
George and Amal Clooney gave neighbours in their Berkshire village £45,000 for the disturbance caused by renovations
The deal agreed with John Grove, 58, and his wife Clare, 49, included a holiday to Corfu, a six-week stay in a luxury hotel and a £30,000 lump sum.
In addition to the package – which curiously also included a replacement vacuum cleaner – the Clooneys paid for the Groves to rent a £780,000 cottage down the road from their home in Sonning.
Refurbishment works on the Clooneys’ Grade II-listed Thames-side property began in late 2015, and included the construction of a 12-seater cinema, subterranean irrigation system, 60ft swimming pool and an astroturf tennis court.
For the Groves and their next-door neighbour, it meant a daily stream of lorries, trucks and diggers clogging up the tiny lane outside their homes for a year.
At one point, the Clooneys had 1,000 mature trees transported to the estate by lorries and planted around the outskirts of the property to protect their privacy.
A source said: ‘It is a known fact in the village that the Clooneys’ closest neighbours were very stressed by the building work. At the height of the work, there were up to three large building lorries in the small road leading to the Clooneys’ house every day.
Th renovations meant a daily stream of lorries, trucks and diggers clogging up the tiny lane outside their homes for a year. The deal agreed with neighbours John Grove (left) and wife Clare (right) included a holiday, a six-week stay in a luxury hotel and £30,000 lump sum
‘But the Clooneys have given a lot back to the community since they moved in. They have been incredibly generous in compensating the Groves for the hassle of the building work.’
During the height of the work in September 2015, the Clooneys paid for the Groves to take a week-long break on the Greek island of Corfu.
Upon their return, they moved into The French Horn, a hotel and restaurant 300 yards from their home at the expense of the Clooneys for six weeks.
Perched on the banks of the Thames, the 19th century former coaching inn is the Clooneys’ favourite local dining spot and charges couples £225 a night to stay at its riverside cottage suites.
The restaurant, which sells vintage wines for up to £25,000 a bottle, is also a favourite of Prime Minister Theresa May, who is often seen dining with her security team in tow. The Clooneys are such fans of the restaurant they regularly hire its staff for private dinner parties at their mansion.
After staying in the hotel became inconvenient for the Groves, the Clooneys secured them a £780,000 cottage in the village for a year, with all rent and bills paid by the Hollywood actor and his human rights lawyer wife. It is not known how much this cost overall.
Refurbishment works on the Clooneys’ Grade II-listed Thames-side property (pictured) in Berkshire included the construction of a 12-seater cinema, subterranean irrigation system, 60ft swimming pool and an astroturf tennis court
Finally, the Clooneys agreed to make a one-off payment of around £30,000 to the couple.
Since the work was completed last year, the Groves have moved from their former home – a £500,000 cottage at the foot of the celebrity couple’s driveway.
Neither the Clooneys nor the Groves wished to comment on their dealings with one another.
Clooney bought his estate for £7.5million in 2014 after marrying his wife, who is now pregnant with twins, in an extravagant four-day wedding in Venice.
The Clooneys secured the Groves a £780,000 cottage in the village for a year, with all rent and bills paid by the Hollywood actor and his human rights lawyer wife
The couple submitted plans for a £12.5million refurbishment of the property in March 2015, which were approved by South Oxfordshire District Council in May that year. For months, villagers endured a cacophony of building work.
For a time the skyline was dominated by a 200ft crane, and the streets were filled with a constant stream of HGVs and vans going to and from the property.
Speaking about married life last year, Clooney said: ‘I’m very happy. We are having a really fun time.
‘We are remodelling our house which is hell. We’ve got married and remodelled the house. We are having fun.’
The Clooneys officially moved into the property, now thought to be worth £23.5million, last year and held a private dinner for a select group of residents in the village, which is also home to Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and ‘spoon bender’ Uri Geller.
As well as The French Horn, Clooney is a regular at local pub The Bull Inn, which stocks his own brand of sipping tequila. He was recently spotted there with fellow Hollywood A-lister Bill Murray and the pair were said to have left a $100 note as a tip.
Last month, Clooney made a surprise visit to an 87-year-old fan who wrote to him from a local care home.
Most watched News videos
- Group of shoppers work together to stockpile tins of baby formula
- Girls intimidate and threaten to kill passenger on London tube
- Hilarious moment baby bursts into giggles when dad tells him off
- Liam Fox tells Boris to 'give an explanation' over 'screaming row'
- 'Class War' activists protest outside Boris Johnson's home
- Dramatic moment fire breaks out onboard car during race
- Police use 'tactical contact' to end dramatic moped pursuit
- Hilarious 'crash for cash' attempt on busy Luton street
- Hollywood stars perform a live reading of the Mueller Report
- Moment man viciously stamps on pub-goers head in pub brawl
- Classic British sports car smashes into couple's Audi in Shropshire
- Woman tussles with Woolworths worker after 'stealing full trolley'