Country estate used by Dominic Raab to spend £5m on moulds to block views of motorway

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab speaks to the media outside BBC Broadcasting House in central London

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab speaking to the media outside BBC Broadcasting House - Credit: PA

A country estate used by Dominic Raab plans to spend £5 million to build 10-metre-high earth mounds on its land to block out the view of the M25 motorway.

A massive landscaping project that would take five years to complete could be underway soon at the historic Chevening House in Kent, the MailOnline has revealed.

The property, which was left to the nation, is typically occupied by a government minister or member of royalty of the prime minister's choosing, which has now gone to the foreign secretary.

Its near neighbours have criticised the scheme as "unnecessary" and say their lives will be made a misery by 80 construction vehicles a day visiting the site.

"Why do they want to do this now when the M25 has been there for 40 years," said one resident from the nearby village of Chipstead.

"I wouldn't mind if the public would benefit from all this work, but it is for one person who might use the house on the odd weekend.

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"The house was left to the nation, but it is only a privileged few who actually get to use the house or benefit from the grounds."

Wayne Hard, who lives in one of two homes in the hamlet of Chevening, added: "The main house has got to be at least 800 metres away from the motorway, and there is no way they can see most of the lorries on the road."

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Neighbours also claim the motorway at Junction five can hardly be seen from the house.

In a planning application to carry out the works, trustees of the estate say the construction of over 700,000 cubic metres of earth will "mitigate the form of the motorway".

They say high sided lorries and the lighting gantries above the busy motorway can be seen from the grounds of the 3,500-acre estate and detract from its splendour.

The house and its sprawling estate was bequeathed to the nation by its last owner Earl Stanhope and its upkeep is managed by a group of Trustees.

The project has the support of heritage group Historic England and will involve transforming mostly level arable farmland into a park with a lake.

George Back, a spokesman for the estate's managing agents, RH & RW Clutton told the MailOnline there had been talks about the landscaping project since 2008.

He said the project was self-financing and no public funds would be used during the five years it would take to complete.

Back said: "We are creating a parkland that will transform the south-east corner of the estate.

"It is possible to see HGV's on the motorway from the grounds but the scheme is more than that."

The planning application will be considered by Sevenoaks District Council later this year.

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