Published: 10:47, 08 April 2021
| Updated: 16:11, 08 April 2021
Paul O'Grady's celebrity friends could soon be invited to stay at his country home in Kent after the TV favourite gained permission for a new guest house.
The For the Love of Dogs host is to knock down a neglected cottage next to his sprawling property in Aldington near Ashford to make room for the new building.
He will also improve his blue-painted Knoll Hill home by converting the loft into a sixth bedroom and adding an entrance lobby to “create a sense of arrival” at the house.
O’Grady, 65, called on award-winning architecture firm Hollaway to work on the plan and submitted his scheme to Ashford Borough Council just before Christmas.
A survey found bat droppings in the loft but planning officer Rob Bewick said steps taken to mitigate the impact on the winged mammals "can be considered acceptable".
He also approved the removal of five trees to improve the driveway and parking arrangements as there is a "good level of screening to that part of the site".
Mr Bewick added: "While the development is within the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the landscape's character and appearance would be preserved with respect to the extensions to the existing dwelling and enhanced by the removal of the existing cottage and replacement with that which is proposed.
"The level of screening, high-quality design and materials would be appropriate and not result in visual harm."
Described as a modern cottage, the two-storey guest house will feature a dining and kitchen space, a separate living area and two upstairs bedrooms.
In his main property, O’Grady - who keeps farm animals including pigs and goats on his grounds - will increase the size of the study and kitchen, and add a spiral staircase leading to the sixth bedroom in the loft.
The Liverpudlian, who hit the big time as his drag alter ego Lily Savage, has lived at the picturesque spot for years and has opened the Aldington fete on several occasions.
In a 2010 interview, O'Grady revealed how he found a home for fellow comedian Julian Clary in the village, but it is believed the TV funnyman has now moved away.