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Richard Hammond faces criticism over ‘inappropriate’ castle home revamp


Richard is facing opposition over his castle home plans (Picture: WireImage)

Richard Hammond has been criticised over an ‘inappropriate’ planning design of his castle home which dates back to the 15th century.

The Grand Tour presenter, 51, has hopes to replace his conservatory with a new kitchen and sunroom at the Bolitree Castle near Ross on Wye, Herefordshire.

He is said to have paid a reported £2 million for his house back in 2008, which includes ‘sham’ castle features.

Richard had originally planned for a kitchen and boot room extension and a new sunroom in 2019, with the plans approved by Herefordshire Council.

However, his new ideas have been seen as ‘visually and architecturally intrusive’ by heritage bosses at Historic England, according to MailOnline.

They had originally approved the earlier plans for what they called ‘elegant extensions’ to the mansion, but Richard is now said to be seeking permission to move the kitchen to the proposed new sunroom and make it bigger.

Conservationists have claimed the plans will cause ‘unjustifiable harm’ to the house, according to planning documents.

Richard’s plans have been seen as ‘visually and architecturally intrusive’ by heritage bosses at Historic England (Picture: Triangle News)

Sarah Lewis, inspector of historic buildings and areas for Historic England, has said: ‘Bolitree Castle forms part of a group of highly graded listed buildings with immense character and much historic and aesthetic value.

‘The proposal to replace the conservatory and erect an extension on the north elevation results in unjustified harm to significance that was avoided by an alternative scheme.

Conservationists have claimed the plans will cause ‘unjustifiable harm’ to the house (Picture: Mark Giddings/Triangle News)

‘Historic England has concerns regarding the application on heritage grounds. Historic England recommends that the proposals are reviewed and redesigned to avoid this harm.’

Sarah has since written a letter to Herefordshire Council highlighting their concerns over the kitchen design.

Richard has hopes to replace his conservatory with a new kitchen and sunroom (Picture: Triangle News/Ford Architecture/Herefordshire Council)

‘These concerns underline the principle issue that externalising a traditionally low-status – and thus discreetly located – function on the garden elevation of the historic house would create an awkward and inappropriate contrast with this building’s traditional layout and character and result in harm to significance,’ she wrote.

Richard has enlisted the help of heritage expert Justin Ayton, who has written a report outlining why they feel the plans should go ahead.

Justin feels that ‘very little historical fabric would be affected’ by these housing plans, and they ‘have been worked on the basis of detailed assessment and understanding of the buildings and their significance.’

Richard has enlisted the help of heritage expert Justin Ayton to help with his case (Picture: ITV/Rex)

He added: ‘The historic and aesthetic values of the building would be undiminished and thus its special interest preserved and its significance sustained.’

Historic England has asked that the kitchen and utility room plans are redesigned if they are to be approved by the local council.

Richard had previously got planning permission in 2019 to convert a home containing his swimming pool ‘to provide space for entertaining guests’ with bedrooms upstairs.

Metro.co.uk has contacted reps for Richard Hammond for further comment.


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