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Pic: Phil Yeomans
Stafford House - Lord Fellowes home just south of Dorchester.
Downton Abbey writer Lord Julian Fellowes has joined the madding crowd and spoken out against plans to build a housing estate next to a country manor that inspired author Thomas Hardy.
Lord Fellowes, who is president of the Hardy Society, has written to planners to object to the proposed 120 home development that will be just 200 yards from Wolfeton House near Dorchester, Dorset.
The historic house once belonged to the Trenchard family whose name provided inspiration for the flawed character Michael Henchard in Hardy's Mayor of Casterbridge novel.
Lord Fellowes said he could not 'stay silent' any longer when Hardy's heritage 'is under threat'. He added the development would 'destroy a major element in Hardy's story'.