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Thursday, 2 March, 2000, 12:14 GMT
Neighbours' relief as Pinochet goes
Demonstrators
The exclusive estate is glad to see the back of controversy
Property-owners on the exclusive Wentworth estate are celebrating the departure of General Pinochet and the circus surrounding him.

The pinochet File
Over the last 15 months the area has been besieged by placard-waving demonstrators, swarms of anti-terrorist police and overrun with journalists.

The Surrey enclave, dubbed "Millionaire's row", is home to foreign royalty, sporting stars, celebrities and formerly the Duchess of York.

But local residents say the furore surrounding the general's house arrest on the estate has knocked 10% off property prices.


Lady Thatcher (r) visited Pinochet at Wentworth
Wentworth residents' association chairman Barry Hughes said there was an overwhelming feeling of relief at the news that he was finally packing his bags.

"I think there will be a few glasses raised behind closed doors," he said.

"It's been extremely difficult for everyone but especially disruptive for those with properties closest to the house.

"It's a most unsuitable place to hold political prisoners. Now life can get back to normal."

At one time legal action was considered to rid the 400-house estate of the former Chilean dictator.

It was also hoped Pinochet and his entourage might move elsewhere, but a move to the south coast was vetoed by police on security grounds.

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