Grand Tour star Richard Hammond given green light to build huge garage at £2m castle for car collection

GRAND Tour host Richard Hammond has been given the go-ahead to build a huge garage to store his car collection at his £2million castle home in Hertfordshire.

The 50-year-old launched a bid to pull down an old stable block and build the new structure after thieves were able to make off with tractor parts during a recent break-in.

Hammond lives at the Grade II* listed Bollitree Castle, near Ross-on-Wye, with wife Mindy, 47, and teenage daughters Willow and Isabella.

An application made to Herefordshire Council over the summer said that the existing storage blocks at the property "fall short" of the family's needs.

The new blocks will be used to store ride-on mowers, a tractor, a number of Land Rovers, and equipment for horse riding as well as Hammond's car and motorbike collection, the Hertford Times reported.

It will also include space to be used by the gardeners and other staff employed to maintain the 31-acre estate.

Design images appear to show two planned buildings, a storage barn and a separate stable for the family's horses.

Forms submitted as part of the application 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.

"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."

The documents also said that the roof of the building would be corrugated sheet metal and that its exterior would be clad with timber.

The council said that, during construction, it would need to be kept informed about the materials being used and how builders would avoid carrying mud to surrounding roads.

The castle already boasts protective ramparts and a moat, 10-foot iron gates, and a high-tech security system.

The recent break-in followed reports in 2018 that the house itself had been burgled.

West Mercia Police confirmed at the time that they had investigated a possible break-in, but Hammond later denied the reports, saying: "Nobody broke in and nothing was stolen."

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