She is Britain’s second-most decorated female Olympian, with three gold medals in equestrianism, but Charlotte Dujardin’s biggest victory was not won on horseback.

I can disclose that a controversial bid to carpet picturesque Gloucestershire fields with solar panelling, which she opposed with fellow gold medallist Carl Hester, has been quashed.

The dressage riders said plans for the six-megawatt solar farm near stables they use could hinder their horses’ fitness regime and harm their chances of Team GB selection.

Developers had challenged Forest of Dean District Council’s decision to refuse planning permission to plonk solar panels on around 34 acres of farmland in Upleadon, Gloucestershire — an area about 11 times the size of Trafalgar Square.

But now a planning inspector has dismissed the appeal by Pathfinder Clean Energy UK Dev Ltd.

Charlotte Dujardin celebrates winning bronze in the Grand Prix Freestyle - Individual Final, on Gio, to become Great Britain's most decorated female Olympian with six medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Charlotte Dujardin celebrates winning bronze in the Grand Prix Freestyle – Individual Final, on Gio, to become Great Britain’s most decorated female Olympian with six medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

The dressage riders said plans for the six-megawatt solar farm near stables they use could hinder their horses¿ fitness regime and harm their chances of Team GB selection. Pictured: Charlotte Dujardin

The dressage riders said plans for the six-megawatt solar farm near stables they use could hinder their horses’ fitness regime and harm their chances of Team GB selection. Pictured: Charlotte Dujardin

Carl Hester (left) and Charlotte Dujardin (right) raise the Union flag in celebration of their medal wins in Tokyo 2020

Carl Hester (left) and Charlotte Dujardin (right) raise the Union flag in celebration of their medal wins in Tokyo 2020

Developers had challenged Forest of Dean District Council¿s decision to refuse planning permission to plonk solar panels on around 34 acres of farmland in Upleadon, Gloucestershire. Pictured: Charlotte Dujardin

Developers had challenged Forest of Dean District Council’s decision to refuse planning permission to plonk solar panels on around 34 acres of farmland in Upleadon, Gloucestershire. Pictured: Charlotte Dujardin

District councillors had already voted to reject the scheme. The solar panels, which would have powered more than 2,600 homes, faced strong opposition from dozens of residents and the parish council.

Planning inspector John Woolcock said he found the proposal would have a significant adverse effect on the landscape.

He said in his decision notice that the site lies within the Severn Vale, an extensive landscape with a complex mix of arable and pasture farming.

Hedgerow and field trees are an important landscape feature, he added, and prominent when located on the many small hillocks that rise from the vale.

‘I consider that the appellant understates the sensitivity of the landscape receptor in this deeply rural environment,’ he said. 

‘The metal and glass panels, along with their regular arrangement in long rows, would be out of keeping with the character of the area. 

‘The colour and texture of the panels would not be typical of its agricultural context, and so the proposed development would introduce a utilitarian element into this deeply rural landscape.’

Now divorcee Natalie paints the town red 

Oscar winner Natalie Portman spent years living with her husband, Benjamin Millepied, in his native France, but following their split she appears to be carving out a new life for herself in London. 

Following a recent rendezvous with Normal People hunk Paul Mescal, 28, at a cocktail bar in the capital, Black Swan star Portman, 42 was spotted this week heading to Chiltern Firehouse in Marylebone. 

Earlier, she attended pregnant model Adwoa Aboah’s fundraising gala for her women’s mental health charity, Gurls Talk. They were joined by Daniella Raveh, the charity’s executive director.

Natalie Portman, 42 was spotted this week heading to Chiltern Firehouse in Marylebone

Natalie Portman, 42 was spotted this week heading to Chiltern Firehouse in Marylebone

Earlier, she attended pregnant model Adwoa Aboah's fundraising gala for her women's mental health charity, Gurls Talk. They were joined by Daniella Raveh, the charity's executive director

Earlier, she attended pregnant model Adwoa Aboah’s fundraising gala for her women’s mental health charity, Gurls Talk. They were joined by Daniella Raveh, the charity’s executive director

Dunhill coughs up £20k to former pal

These are eventful times for buccaneering Piers Dunhill, who, as I revealed four months ago, had his membership of London’s most fashionable club, 5 Hertford Street, abruptly terminated. 

Now, I can disclose, tobacco heir Dunhill, 30, has reached a settlement with his erstwhile business partner, Charles Karsten, 31, who initiated legal proceedings against him for allegedly creating websites which falsely stated that Karsten was a ‘buffoon’ among other slurs. 

Dunhill responded with a counterclaim, alleging that Karsten orchestrated a ‘persistent, oppressive, two-year campaign of harassment’ against him. 

Neither Karsten nor Dunhill’s lawyer will comment, but an acquaintance of both men tells me: ‘It’s been settled. Piers is paying Karsten just over £20,000.’ 

These are eventful times for buccaneering Piers Dunhill (pictured) who, as I revealed four months ago, had his membership of London's most fashionable club, 5 Hertford Street, abruptly terminated

These are eventful times for buccaneering Piers Dunhill (pictured) who, as I revealed four months ago, had his membership of London’s most fashionable club, 5 Hertford Street, abruptly terminated

Anthony Phillips, a founding member of Genesis, formed by rebellious students at Charterhouse public school in Surrey, recalls their big break — a 1966 ‘battle of the bands’ concert. 

‘Geoffrey Ford, the housemaster, was very effete, and didn’t want us to speak between songs,’ he says. 

‘It was summer term and people were demob happy. Gownboys House were rocking the school clock and there was mayhem. Geoffrey stopped the concert. Rivers [Jobe, the original singer] threw a lead at him.’ 

Ford confiscated Mike Rutherford’s guitar but ended up playing a central role in rock history. The rival groups, featuring Peter Gabriel and Tony Banks, pooled talents and morphed into prog behemoth Genesis.

Gandy’s handsome earner 

Male models often complain that their business is one of the few industries in which the men are paid less than women. But David Gandy can boast about his own figures. 

I can reveal that Gandy has amassed a staggering £7.5million in the private company through which he channels his earnings. 

Newly published accounts disclose that the business, Fuimus (London) Ltd, increased its net worth by £400,000 last year. 

How much will it take to get Gandy out of bed now?

Male models often complain that their business is one of the few industries in which the men are paid less than women. But David Gandy (pictured) can boast about his own figures

Male models often complain that their business is one of the few industries in which the men are paid less than women. But David Gandy (pictured) can boast about his own figures

Springwatch and Animal Park presenter Kate Humble is only 55 but already feels like a grandmother. 

‘There’ll be a new Animal Park series out in the summer and I’m working with people at Longleat who grew up watching it and became keepers because they loved it,’ she says. 

‘It does obviously make me feel like everybody’s granny, which I try to forget, but it feels like a really good legacy to inspire a new generation of people.’ 

Humble adds: ‘Possibly the best compliment I can ever receive is from somebody who says they’re doing a zoology degree because they grew up watching me.’ 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Plus-size travel influencer who wants free extra seats for fat fliers says airport worker refused to push her up jet bridge in wheelchair because of her size – and forced her into walk that left her wheezing for oxygen

A plus-size travel influencer has claimed she was discriminated against by an…

Andrew Tate, his brother and two alleged female accomplices are RELEASED on house arrest

BREAKING: Andrew Tate, his brother and two alleged female accomplices are RELEASED…

Michelin issues urgent recall of over 500,000 tires that don’t have enough snow traction

Michelin issues urgent recall of over 500,000 tires that don’t have enough…

King Charles’ Coronation LIVE: All the latest updates 

LIVE King Charles’ Coronation LIVE: Kate and William’s emotional tribute to Aberfan…