Zeta-Jones Loses Fight with Neighbor

03/18/2004 AT 12:08 PM EST

Catherine Zeta-Jones lost an attempt in her Welsh hometown to prevent an entrepreneur from running his IT business inside a barn close to her new $1.85 million mansion.

On Thursday, Swansea councilors voted to allow Steve Gwynn to continue to use his location in the seaside village of Mumbles, where Zeta-Jones is said to be building a luxury home for her parents, reports the Associated Press.

Zeta-Jones, 34, who is no stranger to litigation (she and husband Michael Douglas battled Britain's Hello! magazine last year over unauthorized wedding photos, and she sued a makeup company for suggesting she used its products) reportedly had her lawyers send a letter to Swansea councilors to express her extreme "concern and alarm" on behalf of her parents, Dai and Pat Zeta-Jones.

"Our clients purchased the plot and agreed to the construction of a substantial dwelling on the clear understanding that it would be private, prestigious and exclusive, and extremely safe and secure as it was a 'gated' development," the letter said, according to AP.

"Our clients would also be extremely concerned and alarmed that the privacy and security of the development would be jeopardized by virtue of the visits to site by members of staff, customers and delivery vehicles of Mr. Gwynn."

Gwynn, however, insisted that his business only received one to three visitors a week, usually couriers delivering packages -- and that it attracted a much smaller crowd than the flock of stargazers that routinely descends upon the Zeta-Jones estate.

Swansea Councilor Des Thomas, noting that the actress's compound was close to a cricket club and other public facilities, said the family should have built their mansion in a more secluded part of town if they wanted to be left alone.

Another councilor, Mary Jones, suggested that Zeta-Jones attempted to bring undue influence upon the council. "If it was one of us or anyone else," she said, "we would not have this pressure put upon us."

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