New pantiles which are being added onto Anmer Hall as part of renovations made before the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge move in have been defended by a former chief planning officer.
The renovations, which were given planning consent by borough council officials earlier this year, made headlines once again at the weekend, following national newspaper claims that some neighbours had criticised the work which is currently being carried out on the property.
But Adrian Parker told the Lynn News yesterday that the Norfolk pantiles being used on the building do fit in with the character of the surrounding area and the colour will have faded and become much less noticeable within 18 months.
He also said it was “unsurprising” that the roof was being refurbished.
As previously reported, the 10 bedroom Georgian property was presented to the couple by The Queen and is set to become a country retreat for the young family.
The house is undergoing a series of renovations prior to the couple moving in with their baby son, Prince George, who was born in July.
Many of the properties in the surrounding area are also owned by the Sandringham estate.
However, the royal couple came under fire at the weekend when an unnamed disgruntled resident was reported in the Sunday Express to have accused them of making the Georgian mansion “look like a Barrett home”.
But Mr Parker, who used to work for West Norfolk Council, insisted that the use of alternative methods would not have been appropriate for the historic building.
He said: “It is being re-roofed in natural clay, shallow single roll pantiles, usually referred to as Norfolk pantiles.
“Almost every house and barn in this tiny village is also pantiled.
“I remember that the old roofs on the village side at the back of the house were smothered in moss, and it is no surprise that the building needed refurbishing.
“For most of the year the house is invisible through the trees, and the colour of the roof is unremarkable to us in Norfolk.”
He added: “A new clay pantile roof will gather green algae within 18 months and becomes much more dull, and we shall be even less aware of it then.
“I know that for the past 20 years the Estate has made a point of using the best traditional materials and good local craftsmen in all its new buildings and repairs.
“The only alternative to achieve instant ageing of the tile colour would be to use a glazed or coloured concrete pantile, and these would not be appropriate on a historic building.”
Earlier this year, West Norfolk Council approved plans for a new garden room to be built, wood stores to be converted into accommodation and the driveway to be re-routed.