Will Charlotte Church’s house renovation get the green light? The Welsh singer's renovation journey is back, with viewers finally expected to learn whether she has been granted planning consent for the project.
The 36-year-old has been transforming the £1.5m, 47-acre Rhydoldog House, a seven-bedroom mansion she bought 16 months ago from the late fashion icon Laura Ashley, into an eco home retreat where people can "reconnect with themselves and the natural world". She has featured her renovation in her own TV Show "Dream Build", which continues with a new series tonight at 9pm on Really and Discovery+.
But planning officials at Powys County Council refused to let Ms Church change the use of the main house earlier this year, rejecting her application for planning permission due to fears there wouldn’t be suitable access to the retreat from a narrow country lane. They also warned there was an ‘unacceptable risk’ for drivers on the drive up to Rhydoldog House.
Concerns were also raised by Natural Resources Wales, the environment agency, which feared that bat breeding sites and the nearby River Wye could be damaged.
According to Powys County Council, her application to build four log cabins and a 'bath house' was withdrawn in September, leaving Ms Church's plans in turmoil. The singer had hoped that the eco retreat would have been open and ready for guests by June.
Planners were also reportedly concerned about Ms Church's plans for treating and disposing of waste from four proposed log cabins, and that she was informed by National Resources Wales she had supplied 'inadequate information'.
What are Charlotte Church's house renovation plans?
Having begun work in mid-2021, Ms Church has turned the property into an "off-grid commune" that will be sustainable and have as little impact upon the environment as possible.
The house currently draws 80% of its energy from an onsite hydro-mill, and Ms Church had included the installation of solar panels within her planning application to make up the other 20%.
As part of the renovation, Ms Church planned to convert a barn into an ancillary space and accommodation (which would be used for weddings and events), install a pond, and add vehicle passing places to provide access to the retreat.
Prior to the beginning of series two, she confirmed she had already spent nearly double her original £500,000 renovation budget.
What can we expect in Series 2 of Dream House?
Series one of Dream Build premiered in January and ended not just with uncertainty over planning permission but with much work to be completed, including construction of the woodland log cabins.
The singer had expected the work to be completed by June 2022, with her retreat providing accommodation for a maximum of 17 guests for three or four-day residential courses, and four one-bedroom log cabins will be permitted.
In series two, she will take us through brand new room designs in the main house, including the "Womb Room", a space that honours the various stages of womanhood, and the "Moon Room", which celebrates stories and myths of goddesses.
And while she confirmed earlier this year that Dream Build will return for series 2, and revealed the project is "so close" to being finalised, it now appears unclear that the singer will be able to transform the house into a retreat centre after all.
Series 2 of Charlotte Church’s Dream Build will premiere on Really and discovery+ at 9:00 on Wednesday 5 October.
Get the Homebuilding & Renovating Newsletter
Bring your dream home to life with expert advice, how to guides and design inspiration. Sign up for our newsletter and get two free tickets to the National Homebuilding & Renovating Show (21-24 March, NEC, Birmingham).
Jack has worked in journalism for 11 years and is the News Editor for Homebuilding & Renovating, a role he has had since 2019. He strives to break the most relevant and beneficial stories for self builders, extenders and renovators, including the latest news on the construction materials shortage and hydrogen heating. In 2021 he appeared on BBC's The World at One to discuss the government's planning reforms.
He enjoys testing new tools and gadgets, and having bought his first home in 2013, he has renovated every room and recently finished a garden renovation.