Tuesday, March 18, 2008

We are the Village Green Preservation Society

Rooney's house under construction.... no word on where the padded room will go

Anyone else love that Kinks album? Songs full of efforts to preserve the sleepy, small-town country life that used to exist up and down the country before urban sprawl. Ray Davies and co railed against big business and the influx of city-slickers looking for their slice of the Good Life.

Well, if that album had been produced today, they might have added another song, one that addressed the horrific, gaudy tastes of well-paid footballers.

The people of Alderley Edge, Cheshire, one of Britain's wealthiest villages, are striking back against the trend of footballers moving in and bulldozing bungalows in favour of high-priced mega-mansions.

And they're going to vote on whether or not they think the new buildings are spoiling the area.

Take that, Wayne Rooney!

The vote is being sought by the Edge Association, a community group that represents the rich and reclusive residents of the village, who are fed up of what's now known as "The Rooney Effect" after he and his fiancee knocked down a five-bedroom house in nearby Prestbury to make way for their $9 million mansion.

Said Edge Association spokesman Ian Standen:

"What we're concerned about is perfectly good houses being knocked down and redeveloped. It's changing the character of the village."
It's a hilarious situation that the North West's rich are putting themselves in. Simply, they don't want to share their old-aged utopias with the new wave of wealthy that's making their money in the area. Rooney, Michael Carrick, Roy Keane and Mark Hughes all live in the area, and England cricket star Andrew Flintoff recently moved in as well.

The vote is not binding by any means, but the Edge Association hopes to influence policy with the council next year. All the neighbouring villages will be paying attention as the drive to preserve historic houses and landmarks from the hands of football stars and their gaudy taste escalates.

We don't have this problem in Liverpool. We let our superstars live nearby, because let's face it: they're much easier to rob when they're right down the street.

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