Love Actually creator Richard Curtis has infuriated his locals by turning their quaint British seaside village into his own property empire - and spiralling house prices.

Curtis is taking a hiatus from movies to focus on "buying out" the Suffolk village of Walberswick, where he has already bought two lavish mansions, a shop selling his cousin-in-law Bella Freud's clothing, some stables and several fields so that no one builds on his land and obstructs his view.

One angry local complains, "This is unhealthy for the area. It's Notting Hill on sea. Not only has there been an exponential rise in property prices but the fact they stay in properties only during the holiday season renders Walberswick dead for half the season."

25/08/2004 17:24