May 4 2010 By James Cracknell
Supposed to have hosted Winston Churchill during his honeymoon, the Grade II listed building, on Eastcote Road, was closed in 2007 and has fallen into a poor state of repair.
Hillingdon Borough Council sold the 19th century manor house for s1.295million last autumn, with planning permission for refurbishment and conversion to 12 residential units.
Although permission has now expired, new owners Westcombe Estates Ltd have resubmitted the proposal. It also includes the erection of four two-bedroom houses within the manor grounds.
Agent Peter Neal, acting on behalf of Westcombe, told the Gazette: "The building was left in such a poor state that we have had to bring people in to stop it deteriorating further.
"The intention is to get the work completed as soon as possible. We have done all we can and it is now up to the council. Once the plans are approved we can start in earnest it is not our client's intention to hang about."
Highgrove was built in the 1860s, although was rebuilt later that century following a fire. It is one of Eastcote's three original manor houses but is the only one still standing. Before it closed it was used by the council as a residential hostel for council tenants.
Continued Mr Neal: "It is a listed building and we are well aware of that. All of its elements will be maintained. We are not planning any changes other than to its interior."
Mr Neal says the work can progress quickly once approved, and be completed within nine or 12 months. "What we don't want to do is let the building deteriorate further. It's a big job."
The news of the restoration has been welcomed by Eastcote Residents' Association. Planning advisor Lesley Crowcroft said: "I am very pleased that the house is now going to be restored and brought back into use. It has been in a sad state for a number of years and this will give it more of a useful life."