Queen Elizabeth’s godson is suffering a furious backlash from Hampshire locals who are angry he is planning to build a housing development on his Highclere estate.
‘Geordie’ Porchester, the Earl of Carnarvon, says the only way he can pay for the £11.7 million worth of repairs needed on his 6,000 acre home is to build “several small developments” for rent and sale on the land.
The 51-year-old – who loaned his home to showbiz couple Katie Price and Peter Andre for their wedding in 2005 – will meet with local residents later this month in an attempt to convince them to let his plans go ahead.
Porchester told the Daily Express: “There will be a public meeting at Highclere, which I will address.”
A spokesman for Highclere Parish Council said: “We do not know why the Lord of the Manor wants to proceed in such a manner. I will be going to the meeting. We are prepared to listen to what he says.”
But English Heritage agrees something needs to be done to protect the estate’s historical legacy.
A spokesman said: “Highclere Park contains important archaeological remains. Significant expenditure is going to be needed to sustain this resource and when the case has been assembled we will be happy to assist the local authority in determining the need for enabling development.”
Porchester’s father ‘Porchy’, the 7th Earl of Carnarvon, who was close friends with the queen, was refused permission to build a golf course on the land in a previous bid.