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‘Harry Potter’ star gets green light for eco-homes Posted On 08 October 2021

Council grants conditional permission after objections

 

In terms of opposition, it wasn’t up to the calibre of Lord Voldemort, but it was significant nonetheless. Actor Rupert Grint, famed for playing Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter films, faced local objections to his plans to turn a Hertfordshire barn into three, three-bedroomed eco-homes.

 

His ambitions for the barn, on his Kimpton Grange estate near Hitchin, drew protests from Kimpton Parish Council, the Hertfordshire & Middlesex Wildlife Trust and some residents, but were given conditional permission by North Herts District Council.

 

As well as the conversion, the plans included the creation of a new access and footpath link to Kimpton from the Grange, a former six-bedroomed vicarage with two swimming pools and a private cinema in 22 acres of stunning grounds which was bought for £5.4million in 2009 by the 32-year-old actor, who grew up in nearby Watton-at-Stone.

 

The wildlife trust was concerned about disturbing local wildlife and Matt Dodds, their planning and biodiversity manager, told the Hertfordshire Mercury: “We must try to make space for wildlife alongside our everyday lives to help nature recover.

 

“As such we need to make sure that building works are not impacting wildlife negatively. In this case, further ecological surveys are required to establish whether protected species such as bats live here and how the impact of the conversion can be mitigated to benefit wildlife before a decision can be made.”

 

The parish council was concerned by a decision to cut down ash trees and that no alternative provision was made clear. At the time they were reported as saying: “We note the applicant intends to fell four ash trees. This represents a clear, significant negative impact for which no measurable mitigation or compensation has been offered.”

 

One individual objected, saying traffic congestion was already a problem, but one supporter said the homes would reduce the use of carbon and CO2 gases, and even suggested how to solve the bat issue.

 

The properties would harvest rainwater for toilet flushing, use air source heat pumps and have a roof designed to encourage wildlife to nest.

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