A Chinese billionaire was granted planning permission to build an eight-story, 5,760-square-meter (62,000-square-foot) private palace overlooking Hyde Park in central London.
The Westminster City Council granted Cheung Chung-kiu, a Hong Kong-based real estate magnate, permission to demolish and partially rebuild Rutland Gate 2-8A, in Knightsbridge, in order to create your vast new home, which experts say could be worth up to £ 500 million when completed.
The council’s decision to allow the project comes just months after it imposed a ban on new “monopoly board-style” residences to free up space for more affordable housing.
The Westminster council said it could not stop the progress of this project, as previously the site had been a single dwelling and planning rules allowed for it to be replaced. The council also confirmed that Cheung would not be obligated to contribute to the construction of affordable housing in the township, as is the case with most large-scale privately owned developments.
A spokesman for the Westminster City Council said: “This year the City Council introduced a policy that will prevent the construction of new homes larger than 200 square meters. This policy does not apply to remodeling of existing individual homes. Building the right kind of housing for people to live in is a priority for the City Council and Westminster has delivered more than 725 new affordable homes since 2017. “
In Cheung’s construction application, his agent said the property was “very dilapidated” and that he would like to “undertake repair, renovation and alteration work to return the building to beneficial use as his family home in London.”
The property had previously been a 45-room house owned by Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia, who died in 2011. The house is just south of Kensington Gardens and 68 of its 116 windows overlook the park . The interiors were created by French designer Alberto Pinto.
Cheung bought the property, which was built in the 1830s as a terrace of four large family houses, for £ 205 million this year in a deal that makes it the most expensive property ever sold in the UK. Estate agents have estimated that rebuilding and remodeling the building could easily cost £ 100 million, which is slated to include several tons of marble.
Cheung, known to his friends as CK, is estimated to have a personal fortune of between £ 1bn and £ 1.5bn. He is Chairman of the real estate development company CC Land, which bought the city’s skyscraper known as Cheesegrater for £ 1.15 billion in 2017. CC Land also owns a stake in the Whiteleys shopping center in Bayswater, and sponsored the Pierre exhibition Bonnard at the Tate Modern. in 2019.
The plans, which were unanimously approved at a Westminster planning committee meeting on July 20, show that the property will have a triple-height ballroom and a two-level basement for Cheung’s luxury car collection.
The property, which has been unoccupied for at least 10 years, previously received a building permit to become 13 stories.
To help free up more space for affordable housing in London, the Westminster council announced plans in 2018 to ban new oversized properties built for overseas billionaires. The ban went into effect this year, but it does not apply to remodeling existing mansions.
Richard Beddoe, a councilman who oversees planning in Westminster, said in 2018: “We want Westminster to be home to prosperous and mixed communities, not empty superprime properties. That is why we will restrict the size of new luxury apartments and introduce a new policy for additional bedrooms to make it easier for families to extend their homes so that they have enough space to remain living in Westminster and are not forced to move. ” .