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King Charles warned not to hurt any newts when he builds new gift shop at Highgrove country retreat 

The King, through Alastair Martin, secretary and keeper of the Duchy of Cornwall's archives, is asking to make permanent a gift outlet which marks the end of his garden tour route, open to the public

King Charles faces his first major challenge as monarch: harming no tritons when he builds a new gift shop in his country home.

The servants requested permission to make the store at his Highgrove estate permanent with a purpose-built new building.

But experts have warned the king that the project can only go ahead as long as there are no great crested newts present.

Evidence provided by NatureSpace warned: ‘If great crested newts are found at any stage of development work, all work should cease and Nature England should be contacted for advice.’

The King, through Alastair Martin, secretary and keeper of the Duchy of Cornwall's archives, is asking to make permanent a gift outlet which marks the end of his garden tour route, open to the public

The King, through Alastair Martin, secretary and keeper of the Duchy of Cornwall’s archives, is asking to make permanent a gift outlet which marks the end of his garden tour route, open to the public

The images show plans drawn up by architects Hoare, Ridge and Morris to build a new gift shop on King Charles' Highgrove estate

The images show plans drawn up by architects Hoare, Ridge and Morris to build a new gift shop on King Charles’ Highgrove estate

Pictured: The Highgrove Gift Shop is currently housed in a temporary structure

Pictured: The Highgrove Gift Shop is currently housed in a temporary structure

The organization said it did not oppose the change, but added: ‘The applicant is reminded that it is an offense to deliberately capture, disturb or kill great crested newts. Planning approval does not provide a defense against lawsuits.

Arrangements to improve the shop at her Highgrove estate in Tetbury, Gloucestershire continued quietly despite the Queen’s death.

The King, through Alastair Martin, secretary and keeper of the Duchy of Cornwall’s archives, is asking to make permanent a gift outlet which marks the end of his tour of the gardens, open to the public.

The shop is currently based in a temporary marquee which has planning permission until mid-October and the King now wants the shop to become permanent.

Planning application submitted to Cotswold District Council is to build a new gift shop in Highgrove, Gloucesteshire

Planning application submitted to Cotswold District Council is to build a new gift shop in Highgrove, Gloucesteshire

Experts warn that if great crested newts are discovered during development,

Experts warn that if any great crested newts are discovered during development, “then all work should cease”. Pictured are plans for the new gift shop

The request was passed to Cotswold District Council at the end of August, but a public ‘required notice’ of the request was issued by the authority on September 12 days after the Queen’s death and then that the nation mourned his death.

The app read: ‘Covid 19 has brought garden tours to a halt, but visitors are now returning to Highgrove and the need for the shop is greater than ever.

“The store is the end point of the typical garden tour route. As a marquee, it lacks the quality of the rest of the garden experience or surrounding buildings. The proposed permanent building will remedy this. It will also be smaller than the consent marquee.

“The boutique is an important stopping point for visitors wishing to purchase a souvenir on a memorable day. All proceeds from in-store sales benefit the Prince’s Foundation.

Plan Drawings: A general view of the proposed open veranda facing the Highgrove Estate Courtyard

Plan Drawings: A general view of the proposed open veranda facing the Highgrove Estate Courtyard

Plan Drawings: View from the West Side Walkway of the Carpet Garden at Highgrove

Plan Drawings: View from the West Side Walkway of the Carpet Garden at Highgrove

The app, with plans drawn up by architects Hoare, Ridge and Morris, argues that the King’s Gardens are “of international significance” and help the local economy.

He adds that the new shop would benefit the charitable work of the Prince’s Foundation, which may need to be transformed into the King’s Foundation.

The council is due to make a decision later this month.

Earlier this week it emerged that Charles now has to pay his son Prince William’s rent for Highgrove because it belongs to the Duchy of Cornwall, now owned by the new Prince of Wales.

Charles moved into Highgrove House, an 18th-century mansion with extensive grounds, in 1980, having fallen in love with it shortly before his ill-fated first marriage.

Plan Drawings: View towards the Carpet Garden from the east end of the Orchard Room

Plan Drawings: View towards the Carpet Garden from the east end of the Orchard Room

A view of Highgrove Gardens in Gloucestershire, the country residence of King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla

A view of Highgrove Gardens in Gloucestershire, the country residence of King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla

It lies southwest of Tetbury in Gloucestershire.

It was purchased by the Duchy of Cornwall and leased to Charles on a long-term basis.

Since Charles became King, Prince William has taken over the Duchy’s £345million property portfolio, meaning he is now technically his own father’s landlord.

Now that he has inherited Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, Sandringham and Balmoral, there has been speculation he could gift Highgrove to other royals as a resident – or even sell it.

But Charles is understood to love the house more than any of the other royal palaces, as he put so much of himself into it, having spent years overseeing the renovation of the gardens, so it seems unlikely that he drop her.

Charles opened Highgrove retail stores in Tetbury and London 30 years ago. Some 30,000 visitors a year are allowed to enter Highgrove to view the house and gardens.

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