Cate Blanchett’s plans to build office and studio at her £4.9m country house blocked by bats

HOLLYWOOD star Cate Blanchett’s plans for her British country house have been blocked by bats.

The Aussie actress, 51, was told two protected colonies roost there.

Cate, a double Oscar winner, and her husband Andrew Upton bought the £4.9million mansion near Crowborough, East Sussex, in 2015.

They want to knock down a cottage and shed for an office and studio.

But a survey found the common pipistrelle and brown long-eared bats.

Mum-of-four Cate, who starred in The Lord of the Rings, needs a licence from Natural England to carry out any work.

Highwell House, said to be haunted, was previously owned by Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Doctor Who Tom Baker.

The seven-bedroom home has five reception rooms, a lookout in the house’s castle-like turret and quarters for staff.

The house was listed as Britain's 13th most 'creepy' in 2015.

Cate previously owned a property in Lewes Crescent, Brighton in the early 2000s.

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