FORMER BBC Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond’s new mega-garage at his £2 million castle have been given the green light by Herefordshire Council.
The former BBC star, 50, put in an application to tear down a stable block and replace it with a new barn, after thieves struck his country manor and stole tractor parts.
The plans submitted to Herefordshire Council over the summer state the existing blocks “fall short” of the horse riding needs of the family.
The plans for Bollitree Castle, in Weston-under-Penyard near Ross-on-Wye, have since been given the go-ahead, with certain conditions, by planners.
Hammond also wanted space for this estate workers to park and store kit at the Grade II* listed home.
The new barn will house his ride-on mowers, John Deere tractor, a couple of Land Rovers, kit for horse riding and 10 or 11 parking bars for a car and motorbike collection.
The planning application submitted by Ford Architecture on behalf of Hammond read: “Currently the estate has no storage outside the domestic curtilage of the house other than the existing stables and a small lean to for hay and feed.
“As there is no storage provision for any farm or equestrian vehicles and their equipment, these are currently left outside, recently leading to the theft of tractor parts.
“The existing stable block of five stables, feed and tack room falls short of the accommodation now required by the owners established equestrian pursuit.
“It is not the size of the stables but where they are currently located, access to the paddocks is tenuous and doesn’t facilitate any autonomous access and egress to the paddocks which is essential to the owners horses.
“In addition to the agricultural and equestrian use of the estate the owner has a collection of cars and motorcycles which support his work as a motoring journalist.
“Currently these are housed ‘ad hoc’ in the listed barns or in the open courtyard. Secure storage and parking for this collection of vehicles is fundamental to the owners needs.
“Removal of these vehicles from the listed buildings is also desired so that they can be used domestically.”
The application showed the walls would be timber clad and the building would have profiled sheet roofing.
Passing the proposal, planners said they needed to be told about which specific materials would be used, as well as knowing where builders will park and how they will avoid mud on nearby roads.