Cate Blanchett Can Build a Meditation Room in Her Haunted Mansion, But She Has to Move the Bats First – Vanity Fair

Posted: January 12, 2021 at 7:54 am

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Cate Blanchett's journey to creating her own meditation space in her "haunted" mansion hit a minor snafu in December after surveyors discovered a colony of rare bats making their home in a dilapidated building on the property. But now it seems renovations are once again full speed ahead, as long as the actress can come up with a plan to rehouse the winged interlopers.

According to planning documents filed with the Wealden District Council and obtained by the Daily Mail, Blanchett won planning permission this week to knock down a cottage and shed that are located on her Crowborough, East Sussex estate, now known as Highwell House, in order to build a garden office, studio, and meditation room. Those plans were temporarily put on pause, however, after surveyors discovered a colony of rare bats roosting in the deteriorating structure. They discovered droppings from both common pipistrelle and brown long-eared bats, an at-risk and protected species.

While the actress will be allowed to move forward with the build, she must first provide a plan to safely remove and rehome the creatures and have it approved by the area's council chiefs before being granted a license. Any buildings containing a roost cannot be demolished without being granted a European Protected Species license from Natural England. So that means, in addition to her three-floor studio, zen zone, office, and lavender garden, Blanchett will also have to install special bat boxes or incorporate a bat loft into the design where the animals will be able to live.

The bats apparently aren't the only unwelcome guests currently inhabiting the actress's manse. The grand Victorian estate, originally built in 1890, was previously known as Potters Manor or Steep Park and boasts seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and five reception rooms. It fell into serious disrepair in the early aughts before being purchased and extensively restored in 2015. While today the home is the bright, modern residence of Blanchett, her husband Andrew Upton, and their four children, it was previously listed by The Sun as one of Britain's 15 creepiest abandoned places and even has its own Facebook page dedicated to documenting visitors' otherworldly sightings on the property and the mysterious pentagrams painted on the manor's floors.

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Cate Blanchett Can Build a Meditation Room in Her Haunted Mansion, But She Has to Move the Bats First - Vanity Fair

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January 12th, 2021 at 7:54 am

Posted in Meditation