How Clooneys saved vil­lage the­atre from wood­worm!

Daily Mail - - News -

HOW do you win plan­ning ap­proval to build flats on your land? Well, it helps if you first be­friend the lo­cal celebri­ties who live next door.

Ge­orge and Amal Clooney’s neigh­bour by the Thames in Berk­shire has just won ap­proval for a devel­op­ment of five prop­er­ties af­ter the Hol­ly­wood star and his hu­man rights lawyer wife lodged no ob­jec­tions.

The hous­ing project is at The Mill At Son­ning the­atre, which is run by Sally Hughes.

Ms Hughes had the Clooneys over to watch per­for­mances and al­lowed them to use her car park for the many con­trac­tors ren­o­vat­ing their nine- bed­room, eight- bath­room man­sion, which they bought for £7.5 mil­lion in 2014 and have since spent £12.5mil­lion do­ing up.

‘The Clooneys are reg­u­lar mem­bers of the au­di­ence at The Mill and want it to be on a se­cure fi­nan­cial foot­ing,’ says a source close to the the­atre.

Ms Hughes is build­ing the flats to help pay a £1 mil­lion bill caused by wood­worm at the the­atre — a con­verted 18th-cen­tury flour mill on a small is­land in the Thames.

The Amer­i­can ac­tor, 57, and Amal, 40, whose fam­ily moved to Buck­ing­hamshire from Le­banon in the Eight­ies, have reg­u­larly demon­strated their sup­port for their the­atre since mov­ing in to Son­ning. In Fe­bru­ary, Dame Judi Dench’s daugh­ter, Finty Williams, re­vealed that Clooney had watched her per­form in a play at The Mill. ‘He bought us all drinks af­ter­wards,’ she said.

And the cast of My Fair Lady were sur­prised when a bou­quet of flow­ers ar­rived from the Clooneys, con­grat­u­lat­ing them on their per­for­mance.

‘Amal and I wanted to thank you for a fan­tas­tic night of the­atre,’ the note read. ‘We loved every minute of it. You were all so won­der­ful . . . Thank you and have a great run. Love, Ge­orge and Amal.’

The Clooneys moved into their home, which has a 60ft swim­ming pool, ten­nis court, cinema and a Thames-side pagoda, last year.

Star sup­port: Amal and Ge­orge at Prince Harry’s wed­ding

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