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Kelly Brook forced to build a ‘bat box’ at her £1m Kent home as rare species found nesting in roof

Kelly Brook has been forced to build a ‘bat box’ as part of renovations of her £1million Kent farmhouse after the protected species were found to be roosting in the roof.

The radio presenter, 39, plans to renovate a Grade II listed former oasthouse used as guest accommodation at her 15th Century Tudor cottage.

The property boasts a 600-year-old apple orchard, potting shed and a five-acre garden and outdoor pool.

Kelly Brook, 39, as been forced to build a ‘bat box’ as part of a Grand Designs-style makeover of her £1million Kent farmhouse

But an ecology survey carried out as part of the proposed works revealed that the historic building is also home to brown long-eared and common pipistrelle bats – a protected species.

In his report, ecologist James Madden said: ‘The oast house building was assessed as having a confirmed roost of likely brown-eared bats within the loft room based on concentrations of droppings.

‘The external features of the building were assessed as providing high suitability for roosting bats.’

Two brown long-eared bats were recorded roosting within the oast house, using the inside of the brick chimney as a day roost and the loft room as a night roost.

‘In addition, two common pipistrelle bats were recorded, one under a roof tile and one under a ridge tile.’

Exterior view: Kelly bought the rural retreat near Maidstone in Kent in 2007 when it was in a 'complete state of disrepair and falling down'

Exterior view: Kelly bought the rural retreat near Maidstone in Kent in 2007 when it was in a ‘complete state of disrepair and falling down’

Kelly has submitted plans to build two bat boxes in her chimney to accommodate her 'furry friends' and special tiles in the roof so they can still get into the property during the development

Kelly has submitted plans to build two bat boxes in her chimney to accommodate her ‘furry friends’ and special tiles in the roof so they can still get into the property during the development

As part of the renovations there will be a replacement of a cast iron spiral staircase (pictured) with an external oak staircase

As part of the renovations there will be a replacement of a cast iron spiral staircase (pictured) with an external oak staircase

Kelly has now submitted plans to build two bat boxes in her chimney to accommodate her ‘furry friends’ and special tiles in the roof so they can still get into the property during the development.

She bought the rural retreat near Maidstone in Kent in 2007 when it was in a ‘complete state of disrepair and falling down’.

The former Strictly Come Dancing star and Loose Women panellist has spent the last 12 years restoring it to its former glory in a ‘labour of love’ and now shares her home with boyfriend Jeremy Parisi.

The sprawling property (seen in an aerial view) boasts a 600-year-old apple orchard, potting shed and a five-acre garden and outdoor pool

The sprawling property (seen in an aerial view) boasts a 600-year-old apple orchard, potting shed and a five-acre garden and outdoor pool

The proposed internal alterations include a linear kitchen with a central prep table and breakfast area, the replacement of a cast iron spiral staircase with an external oak staircase and the removal of a window to create a doorway to the south elevation and a new window to the north elevation.

A section of an existing stone retaining wall will be removed and York stone steps laid to create a new entrance and access onto a paved courtyard. 

A fireplace opening in the ground floor snug will be retained for log storage and a new wood burning stove will be installed.

The south facing bedroom (pictured) will be modified to give it doorway access to the paved terrace

The south facing bedroom (pictured) will be modified to give it doorway access to the paved terrace 

Kelly needs planning permission to renovate the property as it is listed and lies in a conservation area (pictured is the store room)

The existing sitting room door currently leads out onto the paved courtyard

Kelly needs planning permission to renovate the property as it is listed and lies in a conservation area (pictured left is the store room). The existing sitting room door currently leads out onto the paved courtyard (right)

A 72 foot-long curved screen will also be built in the bedroom specially contoured to follow the curve of a freestanding modern bath.

In papers filed at the local council, her planning agent Robert Anney said: ‘The functioning of the existing property is greatly improved by the proposals, providing a kitchen space on the ground floor that will interact with the garden and dining terrace. 

‘A first floor WC and en suite allow the oast house to serve as guest accommodation without the need to cross the paved terrace to use the bathroom in the main house.

‘The scale and massing of the oast house remains largely unchanged when viewed from the neighbouring property with the exception of the reinstatement of the external timber staircase.

‘The effect on the character and appearance of the conservation area is limited as the alterations largely occur within the existing building. 

The rustic home boasts high ceilings and period features including on the oust landing (pictured)

The rustic home boasts high ceilings and period features including on the oust landing (pictured) 

The bedroom can be seen from the oust landing in a birds-eye shot. The property was bought in 2007

The bedroom can be seen from the oust landing in a birds-eye shot. The property was bought in 2007

The bedroom window (pictured) which leads out onto the paved terrace will be modified as part of the renovations

The bedroom window (pictured) which leads out onto the paved terrace will be modified as part of the renovations 

Officials at Maidstone Council are expected to make a decision next month on the renovations and there have been no objections from neighbours. The farmhouse is pictured from the outside

Officials at Maidstone Council are expected to make a decision next month on the renovations and there have been no objections from neighbours. The farmhouse is pictured from the outside

In papers filed at the local council, her planning agent Robert Anney said: 'The functioning of the existing property is greatly improved by the proposals'

In papers filed at the local council, her planning agent Robert Anney said: ‘The functioning of the existing property is greatly improved by the proposals’

Kelly has spent the last 12 years restoring the property to its former glory in a 'labour of love'. The roof space is pictured

Kelly has spent the last 12 years restoring the property to its former glory in a ‘labour of love’. The roof space is pictured

Two common pipistrelle bats (pictured) were recorded at the property, one under a roof tile and one under a ridge tile

Two common pipistrelle bats (pictured) were recorded at the property, one under a roof tile and one under a ridge tile

‘The proposed external timber staircase follows a rustic, agricultural style that follows the vernacular of oast house buildings. 

‘The proposed reconfiguration works are to give a greater sense of connection between spaces, whilst providing flexibility of living spaces and ensuring that natural light is maximised. 

‘The integrity of the original building is to be maintained by sensitive and appropriate alterations.’

Kelly needs planning permission as the property is listed and lies in a designated conservation area. 

Officials at Maidstone Council are expected to make a decision next month and there have been no objections from neighbours.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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