David and Victoria Beckham have won their planning battle against neighbours to build a huge lake at their Cotswolds home.
Despite protests from residents, West Oxfordshire district council gave the couple permission to create a kidney-shaped water feature on their £6million estate.
Designer Victoria, 46, and ex-footballer David, 45, will have to plant hedgerows and trees to protect native birds, and also use special lights to help bats.
It is the Beckhams’ latest planning success after they were given the green light to build a wine cellar and a guard house.
The lake will have a surface area of 2,976 square metres and maximum depth of four metres.
It must have an underground chamber – known as a hibernacula – to help support reptiles, amphibians and hedgehogs.
The council also requires the Beckhams to submit a five-year maintenance plan to show how they will support the area’s biodiversity.
Several residents objected to the plans. Neighbour Michael Douglas blasted the couple for ‘trying to bring suburbia to the countryside’.
He said: ‘If they had wanted all they have applied for, why not find an estate which was big enough to accommodate all of this.’
The design statement says the lake will ‘will function as a wind barrier and habitat, as well as enhancing the privacy of the house’.
The statement argues the lake will ‘improve the landscape’ by providing a habitat for wildlife.
The Beckhams have also committed to planting native trees and scrub and hedge plants for nesting birds and other small animals.
West Oxfordshire planning chiefs insisted these were planted to protect local wildlife.
They also want an underground chamber – known as a hibernacula – to help support reptiles, amphibians and hedgehogs.
The decision report also require Victoria and David Beckham to submit a five-year maintenance plan to show how they will support the area’s biodiversity.
The couple will also have to provide details of the lights they will use surrounding the lake.
West Oxfordshire District Council ignored residents’ objections to the Beckhams’ plans.
Some residents called it ‘ugly’, ‘monstrous’ and ‘out of keeping’ with the posh area.
The council’s report said it had three letters of objection from neighbours.
It summarised their concerns as: ‘Out of keeping. Won’t appear a natural feature.
‘Will alter the visual impact of the countryside in that area of green fields with crops in them. Harmful to wildlife.
‘How are they proposing to fill this lake?
‘If yet another bore hole, Soho Farmhouse, is drilled down it will of course affect the water table.’
However Ms Eldrige’s report said: ‘The site is in a relatively isolated location so the development will not impact any neighbouring properties.’