THE new owners of an Oxfordshire stately home have applied to chop down half an orchard to build a new tennis court.

The millionaires who bought Faringdon House, former home of the eccentric Lord Berners, last year have submitted a planning application to fell 14 fruit trees to create their new tennis court.

In order to mitigate the loss of wildlife habitat they have also pledged to plant 21 new fruit trees.

The centre of Lord Berners glittering social circle, Faringdon House boasted visits from some of the most influential people of the 1920’s and 1930’s.

Guests at the property included household names like HG Wells, Salvador Dali and Nancy Mitford.

The new owners snapped up the £11.5m home in December and in April this year auctioned off the contents including a four-poster bed and a chandelier.