Football boss David Moyes' stunning former home near Preston to get leisure extension
The stunning former home of football manager David Moyes is to be extended with the addition of a leisure wing.
Council officers have approved plans for a sunken annexe with swimming pool and gym at the £4m Haighton House near Preston which the former PNE boss bought when he was managing Everton.
The seven-bedroom mansion, set in 76 acres of land, is now owned by the wealthy Bhailok family who are believed to have purchased it for £4.3m two years ago.
The plans show a sumptuous leisure building attached to the Grade II Listed country house.
Planning officers at the Town Hall have given the extension the green light saying it will not cause any "discernible harm" to the 200-year-old late Georgian house.
The property, built in 1820, has been a grand family home for two centuries. More recently it was described as the most expensive house in Preston and is rated as being of "high significance" in heritage terms.
"The new structure will not detract, to any unacceptable level, on the aesthetic value of the Listed building," says a report prepared by planning officers.
It says that overall the work will have "minimal impact" on the significance of the house and the work is "reasonably justified."
Haighton Hall boasts its own private chapel, stable block and tennis court, together with a cottage and a coach house. It was built by Capt Evan Richard Gerard and sold in 1830 to local nobleman Squire James Anderton whose family lived there for the next 70 years.
David Moyes is reported to have bought the property in 2006 from former Preston North End director Sean Keogh, the ex-chief executive of Enterprise plc, for an estimated £3.6m. Mr Keogh had bought it for around £2.3m in 2001.