Gino D’Acampo (pictured) has angered residents near his £1.25m Hertfordshire home
TV chef Gino D’Acampo has been accused of arrogance over his plans to get a footpath next to his £1.25m home shut because he gets harassed by passers-by.
The former I’m a Celeb winner is fed up with fans knocking on the front door of his Hertfordshire home asking for pictures and autographs.
Neighbours of the 43-year-old chef say the alley next to his Grade-II listed seven-bedroom home is an ‘historic’ footpath and provides ‘vital’ access to a GP surgery and pharmacy.
But the TV personality, insists the closure of the walkway at weekends, when the doctor’s surgery is shut all but one Saturday per month, is for the safety of his family.
Speaking to MailOnline on the doorstep of his impressive property D’Acampo said: ‘I don’t know what all the fuss is about. You can see the path is open. I only want to have it closed at weekends when it’s not being used.’
The chef and his wife Jessica, who have lived there since 2016, say people have been in their garden taking pictures and once even found a stranger standing in their hall.
The TV chef wants a thoroughfare to the right hand side of his home (above) shut at weekends because fans harass his family and knock at his door asking for photos and autographs
Residents argue that the walkway (above) is of historic importance and provides vital access for them to reach the doctor’s surgery which sits behind the star’s impressive home
D’Acampo argues that he only wants the pathway closed at weekends and the GP surgery is only open on one Saturday per month, meaning that patients won’t be incovenienced
D’Acampo and his wife Jessica (above together on holiday) bought the imposing seven bedroom house set over four storeys in 2016 and failed to have the path shut two years ago
In a letter to council planning officers Mrs D’Acampo wrote: ‘I just want my family which includes young children to feel safe and secure and have privacy.’
High black steel gates protect the entrance to the path. The passage to the Limes Court doctors’ surgery winds along the side of the D’Acampo property which is protected by a high wooden fence and black steel gates. Another black gates blocks the entrance to their driveway.
A sign warns walkers that the path is not a ‘right of way’ and is only open with the ‘agreement’ of Gino D’Acampo and his family. It orders walkers are ‘not allowed to stop’ and that they are being filmed.
D’Acampo won I’m a Celebrity Get me out of Here in 2009 and appears on This Morning
D’Acampo first applied to have the footpath closed completely two years ago but later withdrew the application. Now he has applied to close the footpath at weekends.
Mrs D’Acampo, 45, a mother-of-three, went on: ‘A couple of times I have had people in my garden taking pictures and there are frequent knocks on the door with people asking for pictures of Gino or signed books.
‘I often get abused in the driveway and it is obviously dangerous for members of the public to treat the driveway effectively as a public space without concern about my family or our visitors’ car driving up and down the driveway.’
However neigbours claim the path has been used by patients and accuse the chef of arrogance in the belief that he ‘owns the town’.
Retired ground-worker Nick Brown, 72, told MailOnline: ‘That Gino has been on the telly a couple of times and now he thinks he owns the place.
‘He only moved here a couple of years ago and now he thinks he owns the town. Who does he think he is?
‘The lane is an historic walkway. It has been in use for years – hundreds of years probably.
Residents near his Georgian townhouse claim patients use the walkway and they say the TV chef’s application to have it closed shows his arrogance and how he thinks he owns the town
Wading into the path row, retired ground-worker Nick Brown, 72, told MailOnline: ‘That Gino has been on the telly a couple of times and now he thinks he owns the place’
The chef first applied to have the footpath closed completely two years ago but later withdrew the application. Now he has applied to close it only at the weekends
The surgery practice manager Christine Price said that by closing the path at weekends, wheelchair users would have to travel four times further in order to reach the doctor’s
‘It’s the best way to get to the surgery. It takes about five times longer to walk around the surgery.
‘I go to the surgery about once a month and I always use the path. I’m lucky because I’m fit enough to get around. But other people who are not so mobile will struggle to get to the doctors’ if he gets the path shut up.’
In a letter to the council, another resident wrote: ‘I have used the path since the 1990s at numerous and various house and never noticed any gates and walked the path length with ease and certainly there was no reason to complain.
‘Then about two years ago, huge gates appeared and barred this route to the surgery and I thought this was thoughtless. Around this time I complained to the council. Subsequently, the gates opened with a button or a sensor for limited hours.
‘However, from my own observations and experience in using these gates, I think the opening of these gates with a button or sensor and the manoeuvres people had to make to negotiate the gates was considerably dangerous and impossible for people with disabilities to use.
‘I believe this was a strategy to deter users from using the path, along with being intimidated and a feeling of enclosure.’
D’Acampo, who has been married to Jessica for 25 years and has three children with her, often posts enviable photos on Instagram of his palatial property (pictured)
The star and his wife purchased the £1.25m townhouse with a stunning garden in 2016
The couple say that since moving in three years ago fans have got into their garden (above) in pursuit of a photo or autograph of the star and they have even found someone in their hallway
D’Acampo bought the four-storey Georgian townhouse three years ago.
It boasts three reception rooms, an orangery, basement, secluded formal gardens with an Italianate and Tuscan villa-style rear elevation. It was described by estate agents as a ‘hidden gem’ in an ‘enviable’ position.
A Mercedes sports car and a Porsche 4×4 are parked in the drive.
The pathway runs down the side where a door can be accessed and there is a ramp at the end of the driveway which slopes down to the GP surgery for wheelchair access.
The surgery practice manager added that wheelchair users would have to travel four times further if the footpath were closed.
In a letter to the council, practice manager Christine Price said: ‘My understanding from years back is that the footpath should be open whilst the surgery is open and this has been long standing since 1991 when the surgery first moved here.
‘Patients find the open footpath makes the surgery and pharmacy easily accessible from the High Street, especially for the disabled members of the community.
‘I agree the community footpaths are not adequate for the use of wheelchairs of for patients who are unsteady on their feet.
The chef often posts photos of himself and his wife Jessica on Instagram with the couple looking blissfully happy together
‘However, I can completely understand that weekends are precious for quality family time and I don’t think that keeping the footpath closed at weekends would cause too much of a problem for us, even though we are open one Saturday in four.
‘We can always inform patients at the time of booking that the footpath will be closed.’
D’Acampo rose to fame as a chef on ITV’s This Morning after winning reality TV show I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here 10 years ago.
He has also presented cookery programmes including Let’s Do Lunch, There’s No Taste Like Home and Gino’s Italian Escape. He also has a range of cookbooks.