As their apartment at Kensington Palace nears completion, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton have received welcome news about the Georgian mansion that has been earmarked as their future country home. Royal officials have received permission for a range of improvements to Anmer Hall, the house on the Queen’s Norfolk estate where Prince Charles conducted his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles.
The local council have secretly approved plans to give the ten-bedroom house greater privacy by re-routing the driveway plus extensive planting of trees and shrubs to shield it from prying eyes. Consent has also been given for the construction of a new garden room and the conversion of a wood store into an accommodation block — believed to be for police officers.
Prince William and his pregnant wife Kate Middleton are thought to be keen on living in the house, not least because it is surrounded by the Queen’s 20,000-acre Sandringham estate, giving them maximum privacy. The detailed planning application, described as a ‘major development’ in council papers, has not appeared on the council website for security reasons. But my man in Norfolk was allowed to view the documents under the supervision of a planning officer. The plans involve moving the main gates further down a lane so members of the public will not be able to get so close to the house.
The new, longer private driveway will sweep across grazing land before reaching the front of the house, which has its own swimming pool and tennis court. The garden room will be built on to the kitchen, alongside a pergola of stone columns with oak beams for plants to grow through and provide shade on a terrace.
Anmer Hall is one of 150 properties owned by the Queen on her north Norfolk estate.
During the Nineties it was rented by bloodstock figure Hugh van Cutsem, a close friend of the Prince of Wales. It was there that he and Camilla would sometimes meet up. But William also has happy memories of visits there as a child. A spokeswoman for King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council tells me: ‘I can confirm that the plans were approved. I cannot give any other details.’ – Dailymail