A Chinese billionaire who made his fortune buying umbrellas and cassettes has been given the go-ahead to partly demolish his 45-room mansion overlooking Hyde Park and build a £500m ‘super palace’ in its place.
Westminster City Council this week rubber-stamped Hong Kong-based tycoon Cheung Chung Kiu’s proposals for the £205m property in Knightsbridge, which include tearing down and rebuilding the third, fourth and fifth floors, while adding an extended basement, an Olympic-size swimming pool and a ‘halo’ roof with a lavish garden.
The scheme will see 2-8a Rutland Gate become Britain’s most expensive home with 42 bedrooms after the businessman – who also owns The Cheesegrater in London – snapped it up for a relative bargain due to depressed property values and weak currency as a result of Brexit.
The 62,000 square-foot property was originally a row of terraced four storey houses but was converted into a single mansion in the mid 1980s.
The stunning home was previously owned and used as a London base by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, who died in 2011.
Cheung made his money when he moved to Hong Kong as a teenager, buying up stocks of items including umbrellas, watches and cassettes and selling them back to mainland China. He then developed residential properties on agricultural land to build up his profile.
He has now been given the green light to develop a huge ‘super palace’, despite councils chiefs imposing a ban on new super-sized mansions over 150 sq metres (1,615 square feet) in order to free up space for affordable homes.
As the building is still classed as a single dwelling, planning rules allow it to be updated and replaced.
The planning application received two objections from neighbours, concerned that the roof in particular was ‘overly assertive and out of scale with the surroundings’.
The ‘halo’ design was also described as ‘an incongruous and visually intrusive addition to the roofscape’.
Article Source: Daily Mail