'I don’t know how the hell they let her do this': Residents of exclusive beach community furious after Taylor Swift builds sea wall in front of $18million Rhode Island mansion
- Pop superstar Taylor Swift has enraged her neighbors by erecting a huge seawall by her Watch Hill, Rhode Island property
- Neighbors have demanded to know why she is being allowed to build they eyesore along the historic stretch of New England coastline
- The 24-year-old popstar has employed a crack-security team to watch the property after it was broken into over the summer
- The Grammy award winner has allegedly not gone through regular channels to get permission for the wall
- The singer reportedly paid over $17 million in cash for the home
Taylor Swift has walked into trouble in the exclusive beachside community where she bought an $18million vacation home this summer - building an enormous sea wall that has left local residents furious.
After the 24-year-old singer purchased the largest and most lavish property in Watch Hill, Rhode Island - a neighborhood filled with large and lavish properties – she began rebuilding a seawall on the beach in front of the mansion.
The construction project, which began with no public notice, has made some neighbors and longtime residents of the area furious because it restricts access to a public beach and interferes with fishermen and surfers who have been using the stretch of sand for generations.
‘I don’t know how the hell they let her
do this without approval or nothing,’ a furious Richard Bishop, 76, told
MailOnline as he climbed atop the wall to survey the development.
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Controversial construction: This is the seawall being built at her exclusive Rhode Island mansion that has left her neighbors seriously unimpressed
Protection: The diggers are working to rip up the coastline around the exclusive and historic Water Hill mansion in Rhode Island
Workers are filling in the sand behind a seawall that is a popular hangout for the community and piling large boulders in front of the wall.
Mr Bishop has been fishing on the Watch Hill beach since he moved to the neighborhood in 1961. The new boulders piled in front of the wall, he says, will block him – or anyone else – from getting around the seawall and cross the public beach.
Pete Silva, 31, who was born and raised in the nearby town of Westerly, Rhode Island, said that the construction covers up years of history.
The seawall has been a popular spot for teenagers to hangout for longer than he’s been alive. It’s also become a makeshift memorial of sorts of for his friend Trevor Johnson, who drowned there in 2004.
I can't believe it: Richard Bishop expresses his disbelief at the huge construction work going on behind him at Taylor Swift's Rhode Island home
Rage: Richard Bishop walks past Taylor Swift's seawall at her Rhode Island home which is on a historic part of the New England coast
Too high: Mr. Bishop explained that the wall was constructed without necessary approval and has become an eyesore
The construction work has covered over the memorial. And Swift's security guards have begun chasing residents off the sea wall - even though the previous owners allowed locals to use it for decades, Mr Silva said.
‘There’s a lot of meaning in that wall. Now nobody will be able to use it,’ he said.
Other residents say that the new construction on the seawall is an eyesore. It is the only structure jutting out in a long stretch of idyllic New England beach.
A publicist for Swift did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The construction has caught residents off guard. Swift did not have to acquire building permits from the town and only had to obtain permission from the state Coastal Resources Management Council – an environmental organization that held no hearings before granting her permission to undertake the construction – estimated at more than a million dollars.
‘I just can’t believe she didn’t need permits for it,’ 48-year-old James Tuscano said.
Guard: Construction outside a property owned by Taylor Swift's is getting attention from locals of Westerley Rhode Island for changes to the shoreline at a public beach where many swim, surf and fish
Lavish: Taylor Swift's new ritzy $17m beach front Rhode Island home. According to US reports, the pop superstar paid just over $17m in cash to secure this 5 bedroomed, 11,000 square foot, beach front property in Rhode Island's upmarket Water Hill
Laura Dwyer, a spokeswoman for the Coastal Resources Management Council, said the seawall itself predates Swift's purchase of the 1930 home - and possibly dates back to the 1938 hurricane the savaged the coast.
Swift is merely bringing it back up to standard after decades of disrepair, she told MailOnline.
Residents were happy when Swift purchased the 11,000-square-foot Harkness House this summer. She reportedly bought it outright with a single $17.75million wire transfer.
Watch Hill has long been a playground for the extremely wealthy – the Harkness House itself was built by a Standard Oil heiress.
But Swift brought a fame to the wealthy community that it hasn’t seen in decades.
Then, just days after the purchase, a fan, Lucas H. Vorsteveld, 22, of Chicago, was arrested trying to enter the property.
Belle of the Ball: Popstar Taylor Swift at the Winter White Gala dinner at Kensington Palace in November (left) and (right) at the BBC Teen Awards held at Wembley Arena in November
Swift responded by ringing the property with a six foot fence and posting security guard on the premises 24 hours a day – even when she isn’t there.
On Monday as Mr Bishop examined the seawall, two guards peered down from the cliff above – watching him.
Minutes later, a Westerly police cruiser arrived in the driveway of the home.
'I'm sure she's a perfectly nice lady, she just doesn't know what this is all doing to us here,' Mr Silva said.
Residents say Swift spent little time at the property last summer. It was mostly used by her parents Scott and Andrea.
'One who the guys who lives on the other side of her, he is p****d because she put up that six-foot fence all along his property line,' Mr Bishop, the fisherman, said.
'He's thinking of selling his house because of her.'
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