Sir David Attenborough's plan to turn a former beer garden into a haven for animals and plants was given the go-ahead last night.

The plan will transform the outdoor space of the derelict Hole in the Wall pub in Park Road, Richmond, into an urban garden.

The 83-year-old wildlife enthusiast bought the empty pub last year.

In December, he submitted plans to extend his home into the pub and create a wildlife-friendly outdoor space, complete with an orchard, glasshouse and "bog garden" for marsh plants.

Although there were four objections to the proposal, most residents seemed in favour of the project, writing to the council with letters of support.

Sir David's next door neighbour, David McGrath, said: "We are happy that, since Richmond is losing the green land behind the opposite side of Park Road, this proposed development goes a small way to redressing the balance."

And Jill Grist, of Kings Road, added: "I myself would be very happy to live opposite the arrangement planned."

The council said it granted planning permission after consideration of how the scheme would fit in with the requirements of the area's conservation area status.

A council spokesman confirmed officers "did not feel the proposed changes would affect the conservation area".

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