Geri Horner's new horse barn is knocking out the local village's phone signal, neighbours claim

29 November 2022, 20:18 | Updated: 30 November 2022, 06:45

Geri Halliwell is embroiled in a planning dispute with neighbours
Geri Halliwell is embroiled in a planning dispute with neighbours. Picture: Social media

By Kit Heren

Former Spice Girl Geri Horner has become embroiled in a row with her neighbours over a barn they say is disrupting phone signal in their village.

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Ms Horner, 50, and her husband the Formula One mogul Christian Horner, have built a barn to house 14 stables on their country estate in Northamptonshire.

The corrugated steel building, which they started without getting planning permission first, has knocked out phone reception in the nearby village, irate locals claim.

Ms and Mr Horner have since been given retroactive permission by Northamptonshire County Council - leading to accusations that officers have caved in to the demands of the wealthy.

Geri Halliwell
Geri Halliwell's horse barn has come under scrutiny. Picture: Social media

The locals also claim that the couple have re-routed public footpaths to suit their needs.

One letter objecting to the plan said: "The barn has affected mobile phone signals in the village without a doubt."

"No notice of planning permission notices ever erected in retrospect or any planning.

"The barn is hideous, totally destroys the landscape and views. Excess floodlights all night long causing light trespass to all neighbours from the main house also.

Ms Horner's rural image is a far cry from her time in the Spice Girls
Ms Horner's rural image is a far cry from her time in the Spice Girls. Picture: Social media

"What is it with this council - do they cave into the rich because they don't have money to fight them in court?"Many people in the village not happy at all laws being allowed to be flouted.

"They have even re-routed public footpaths and installed their own style gates, how on earth is being allowed?

"Their horses are also a menace on the footpaths to the public."

Another neighbour added: "The barn affects mobile signals in the village, is a hideous blight on the landscape and does not conform.

"If this build is retrospective, why is it still being built? There is now a huge glass construction being built on the end of the barn - don't the council care of the favouritism being shown to the wealthy here? Unacceptable.

Ms Halliwell married Christian Horner in 2015
Ms Halliwell married Christian Horner in 2015. Picture: Getty

"This is not a verbal attack on the rich, this is a breach of fairness to all. Favouritism is being shown here."

Another objector said: "Rishi Sunak PM stated in the last few days that any village that wholly objects to building plans, such as those happening without council diligence at Glebe House, are to be refused if the local village residents strongly object. Which they do.

Planning documents submitted on behalf of Ms Horner say the old barn "is being replaced with a new barn of the same form and scale with stone plinth walls, timber cladding (Cedar) and a corrugated metal roof."

She and her husband got married in 2015 and live in the English countryside.

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Ms Horner, once known as Ginger Spice and famed for her Union Jack dress, now presents a more typically rural public image, often posting photos of the animals on her estate to social media.

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A spokesperson for the council said that it had given permission on the condition that the land was used for private use only, rather than commercial.

They added: "West Northamptonshire Council always seeks to look for solutions rather than problems so that applications for sustainable development can be approved, thereby resulting in improvements to the economic, social and environmental conditions of the area."

Ms Horner has been contacted for comment.