Stella McCartney’s Hamptons Neighbors Are Angry About Her New Sea Wall

Stella McCartney attends the gala dinner, in honour of Stella McCartney, winner of the Global VOICES Award
John Phillips / Getty Images

Designer Stella McCartney’s fashion line has many fans, but with her neighbors in the Hamptons, she’s not so popular after building a sea wall along the beachfront section of her property.

The Daily Mail is reporting that McCartney has built a 230-foot barrier wall on her East Hampton property to stop erosion, but neighbors say it is blocking access to the beach. The designer daughter of former Beatles great Paul McCartney shares the seaside vacation home with her husband, Alasdhair Willis, creative director of boot brand Hunter, and they are defending their decision to build a wall of sandbags out of fear of erosion.

Neighbors who live on their street are arguing that the permit to build the wall expired in April, and yet they still can’t access the beach due to the sandbag wall. Many are going on the record to say that McCartney and Willis have overstepped.

Plumber Peter Fromm, 58, has lived in the Hamptons for 35 years says that many people who have been in the area for decades aren’t blocking their neighbors from the beach.

“We’ve lived here a lot longer than Stella McCartney and then she does this.”

Paula Easevoli, 74, says that none of the neighbors were notified before the wall went up.

“As far as I am aware, at no time did Stella McCartney consult any of us about what we thought.”

McCartney says she is willing to remove the portion of the wall which is blocking the access road and run them around the side of her house, according to papers filed with the East Hampton council earlier this month. This concession was offered after a reportedly raucous town council meeting which had McCartney’s neighbors complaining.

Local builder Steve Graboski, 60, complained that McCartney put her family’s needs ahead of those of her neighbors.

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“What bothers me most is the sheer arrogance of it. As in “I need this and it’s going to block the road and I really don’t care’.”

McCartney’s lawyer Jonathan Tarbet said that the designer ideally wanted to keep the wall in place for two years in the hope of saving the house while building a new home on the land she had purchased behind it, further away from the ocean.

But the East Hampton council’s head building inspector, Ann Glennon explains that per the permit, the entire wall should have been removed by the end of April.

“Strictly speaking that structure is currently there illegally.”