The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with their son Archie, now aged two months, at St George’s Hall in Windsor on May 8
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex could be ordered to rip up their proposals for the new garden at Frogmore Cottage after altering their plans for the design.
Prince Harry and Meghan are planning to have an organic vegetable plot created in the gardens of their new home on the Queen’s Windsor estate, where they now live with their two-month old son Archie.
They undertook renovations at the £2.5million property without planning permission after changing their mind on the garden’s design after the council gave consent.
The couple are now seeking retrospective permission for parts of ‘external landscaping works’ in the garden after using a different design to the one approved by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council.
Harry and Megan could be forced to reverse the work at their home, where they moved following a project to convert Frogmore from five run-down former staff properties which is thought to have cost £3million.
The Grade II-listed cottage was gifted to the Duke and Duchess by the Queen last year, with Kensington Palace confirming the move in November, saying Windsor was a ‘very special place’ for the couple.
Frogmore Cottage is located near Windsor Castle, the Queen’s summer residence, and St George’s Chapel, where Harry and Meghan married in May 2018 as millions of people around the world watched on TV.
Ian Ratcliffe, project manager at the Royal Household, said in an letter to the council’s planning team: ‘This application has been submitted following a material change to elements of grant of planning consent.
‘We consider that national security could be compromised if public access is given to the plans, other drawings and documents relating to this project, either in the offices of the council or on the council website where they could be viewed and copied. Furthermore, copies of the plans and other documents should not be sent to statutory consultees.
The Grade II-listed Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, Berkshire, was gifted to the Duke and Duchess by the Queen last year
Frogmore Cottage (pictured) is located near Windsor Castle, the Queen’s summer residence, and St George’s Chapel
‘Therefore, for reasons of national security, we would appreciate if this application could be treated as confidential and not be allowed to enter the public domain awing to the nature of the works and their location.
‘And (we) would re-affirm that this application is submitted on the basis that the accompanying plans, drawings and other documents are not released into the public domain either in your offices or on your website.’
Under planning law, a retrospective planning application is submitted to the council if a change is made to a property that requires planning permission and approval has not been sought.
A local authority can also request that a retrospective planning application is submitted for the work that has already carried out, but it does not mean that consent will automatically be granted.
If the retrospective application is refused, the local authority can issue an enforcement notice which could require the couple to reverse any changes made to Frogmore Cottage.
Ian Ratcliffe, project manager at the Royal Household, wrote a letter about the application to the council’s planning team
Under the plans revealed by a well-placed royal source last month, the proposals include provision for a tennis or badminton court at the couple’s Windsor home.
There are also said to be plans for exterior painting and landscaping, the installation of security lights and the planting of £20,000-worth of fast-growing shrubs and trees.
Several baby friendly features for the couple’s child Archie as well as a vegetable garden so the couple can grow their own produce are also included.
The revised plans, according to the source, will be slightly different following a last-minute change of heart by the royal couple.
The source said: ‘Some changes have been made to the plans to create the Duke and Duchess’s garden after the original planning consent was granted.
‘Frogmore Cottage will be the perfect place for a royal prince to grow up with the Duke and Duchess and these changes are very important to create a perfect home for themselves and Archie.
The royal couple are now seeking retrospective permission for parts of ‘external landscaping works’ in the garden
Parts of the plans submitted to the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council were redacted when viewed online
The couple carried out a £3miullion project to convert Frogmore Cottage from five run-down former staff properties
‘These specific changes are currently being dealt with the local council to avoid the need for any action.’
Plans for the initial renovation were approved by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council in December after asking for permission for ‘internal and external works’ and ‘associated landscaping’.
But there was no further details on the council’s planning page at the time, just a note which said it contained ‘sensitive information’ so documents wouldn’t be made public.
However, the couple’s latest project got underway about three weeks ago and is expected to be completed later this summer. Frogmore Cottage was built in the 18th century for Queen Charlotte, the consort of King George III.
Queen Charlotte used the property as a countryside retreat for herself and her unmarried daughters. Queen Victoria had breakfast at the cottage in 1875 and said it was a place with an ‘immense number of frogs’.
Kensington Palace and the council have both been contacted for comment. Any building work is covered by the Sovereign Grant – funded by the taxpayer – while the couple will pay for the furnishings.