Neighbours of yoga teacher say she is exiled from local wine society

Wealthy neighbours of yoga teacher who wants to demolish her £1.5million home and build two new ones say she is banned from wine society and picnics over bitter court row

  • Emma and Terrence McGuiness are in a legal battle with their Surrey neighbours
  • They have now excluded yoga teacher Emma from their local wine society 

Wealthy neighbours of a hot yoga teacher have fumed that she will remain permanently excluded from the wine society and summer picnics regardless of the outcome of a legal battle over plans to demolish her £1.5 million home and build two new ones.

Emma McGuiness and her husband Terrence are locked in a bitter court row with those living around their four-bedroom home in Oxshott, Surrey which they want to tear down to construct an annexe alongside the new property so they can watch over her poorly father.

The couple already have planning permission to level their stylish home, which is located on The Ridgeway Estate, which is made up of 47 properties which sell on average for more than £2 million.

But angry neighbours have taken them to court to try and get an injunction banning construction vehicles from accessing the private roads that make up the estate.

The leafy roads are owned by Ridgeway (Oxshott) Management Ltd whose directors and shareholders are made up of neighbours on the estate.

Emma McGuiness (left) and Terrence McGuiness (right) have planning permission to knock down their home

The dispute has created a rift on the secluded 47-house Ridgeway enclave, Central London County Court heard, with Mrs McGuinness (pictured) no longer taking part in the local wine society on their estate

Emma Mc Guinness and her husband Terence are locked in a bitter court row with neighbours living around their four-bed home in Oxshott, Surrey

Following a week-long hearing at the Central London County Court a judge is to rule if construction vehicles should be allowed to enter the estate so that they can get to the couple’s home for work to begin.

During the hearing, Mr McGuiness, 45 told the court how he and his wife had been ‘ostracised’ by neighbours and was no longer taking part in the wine society, chats at the gate or summer picnics.

As The Ridgeway’s well-heeled neighbours await the judge’s ruling, one told MailOnline: ‘Whatever happens, Emma will not be allowed to return to the wine society. That’s how seriously we take this matter. We don’t mess around when it comes to wine or what this couple are trying to do.

‘They want to demolish a lovely home and shatter the quiet of our lives. It’s going to be intolerable putting up with construction traffic and our quiet roads are not equipped to deal with this.’

Another neighbour fumed: ‘Never mind wine, we wouldn’t have her over for Pimm’s. This is such a lovely estate and very exclusive. How can you possibly want to knock down one of these beautiful homes? We’re not being nimbies, we just don’t want all this noise and dust. We won’t allow it.’

She added: ‘Relations with Mr and Mrs McGuiness are at an all-time low and I’m afraid, are beyond repair. Whatever the judge decides, will not make a difference. Nobody around here is interested in socialising with them or inviting them to our regular community events.’

Emma Mc Guinness (pictured) was formerly a competitive figure skater but has now carved out a successful career as a teacher of Bikram ‘hot’ yoga

Emma McGuiness (pictured) has been pushed out of the local wine society due to the neighbourhood dispute

Mrs McGuinness, 41 was formerly a competitive figure skater, but has now carved out a successful career as a teacher of Bikram ‘hot’ yoga.

Her husband has a background in acting and drama, having trained at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama, where Mrs McGuinness was also a student, but is now a sales director at a catering firm.

During the hearing, Mr McGuiness said he and his family had ‘lost touch with people’ due to discord over their plans, while before they had mingled freely on the estate, where they have lived for 10 years.

He said: ‘The last two years have been extremely difficult for us.’

‘What I’m talking about is things like Emma no longer being part of the wine society and not mixing like she did – not having conversations at the gate and not having summer picnics with people.

Mr and Mrs McGuinness, however, want the case against them thrown out.

Their neighbours insist conditions of sale and access rights restrict owners to ‘one plot one house’ and that a two-house building project would cause too much disruption.

The couple’s home is located on a corner plot, one of the largest on the estate.

Barrister Miriam Seitler, representing the residents’ company, highlighted the potential road chaos flowing from the build, which she claimed would shatter the calm of a quiet estate.

Terence McGuinness, pictured outside court, said he had his wife had been left feeling ostracised by their ‘nimby’ neighbours 

Emma and Terrence McGuiness’s barrister accused the couple’s neighbours of ‘nimbyism’ 

She told the court: ‘The disruption and damage to be caused in the short term is significant: the construction period for two dwellings will be substantially longer and more intensive than for one.

‘The experts agree that one house could be built in 12 months, whereas the proposed development would take 21 months.

‘Our factual witnesses detail how disruptive construction work on the Ridgeway has been – and will be – to residents due to the layout and nature of the estate.’

For the couple, barrister George Woodhead highlighted construction projects carried out by other residents, with most of the 47 houses on the estate ‘extended, rebuilt or improved’ at some point.

‘There is a strong sense of ‘nimbyism’, ‘pulling up the ladder’ and hypocrisy to the position adopted by some members of the company,’ he said, although he added: ‘Not all members of the company are opposed to the proposed works.’

He continued: ‘For them, this is less about making money and more about living in close proximity to Mrs McGuinness’s father, who is unwell and wishes to be very near to his family.

‘Their children are at school and engage in local activities. The family are embedded in the local community, such that moving house is undesirable.

‘Their motives for the development are commendable: their focus is on family, not money.’

 Emma McGuiness (pictured outside of court) and her husband Terrence have been taken to court by their neighbours who are seeking to block them from levelling their home in Oxshott, Surrey

The couple are hoping to level their home and build two new houses to ensure they are able to look over Emma McGuiness’ poorly father

They had also offered compensation for any damage done, the lawyer added, while the works would only take place between 8am and 6pm on weekdays and 9am to 1pm on Saturdays.

But Ms Seitler said the couple’s project goes beyond anything in the past, alleging that many on the estate felt a ‘particular concern about multiple dwellings’.

If it fails to get an injunction banning use of the access roads for the project, she asked the judge to award £80,000 in compensation from Mr and Mrs McGuinness.

Following a week in court, Judge Simon Monty reserved his decision in the case, which has already racked up ‘tens of thousands’ in lawyers’ bills.

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