Hong Kong-based Billionaire granted permission to build eight-storey private palace overlooking park
A billionaire has been given permission to build an eight-storey private palace overlooking Hyde Park.
Hong Kong-based property tycoon Cheung Chung-kiu has been granted permission to create a vast new home by partly demolishing and reconstructing 2-8A Rutland Gate in Knightsbridge.
Cheung made history when he bought the property for £205m this year, making it the most expensive property ever sold in the UK.
Experts now believe the new home, complete with a triple-height ballroom, and a two-level basement for Cheung’s collection of luxury cars, could be worth up to £500m when completed, the Guardian reports.
The council previously imposed a ban on ‘monopoly board-style’ residences to free up space for affordable homes.
Westminster Council told the Guardian because the site was previously a single dwelling, planning rules allow it to be replaced.
The council confirmed it was unable to stop the project going ahead and added Cheung would not be obliged to contribute to the construction of any affordable homes in the borough, as is the case with most large-scale private property developments.
A spokesperson for Westminster council said: “This year the council introduced a policy which will prevent the construction of new homes over 200 sq metres.
“This policy does not apply to the redevelopment of existing single dwellings.
“Building the right type of homes for people to live in is a priority for the council and Westminster has delivered over 725 new affordable homes since 2017.”
The property was previously owned by Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz, of Saudi Arabia, who died in 2011.
The 45-bedroom house is just south of Kensington Gardens and 68 of its 116 windows have a park view.
Estate agents have estimated the redevelopment of the building, which includes several tonnes of marble, could cost £100m.
Cheung, who is known to his friends as CK, is estimated to have a personal fortune of between £1bn and £1.5bn and is chairman of property development company CC Land.
The company bought the ‘Cheesegrater’ skyscraper known as the ‘Cheesegrater’ for £1.15bn in 2017.
The plans for the building were voted through unanimously at a Westminster planning committee meeting on July 20.
The property previously was granted planning permission to be converted into 13 flats but has laid vacant for at least 10 years.
To help free up space for affordable housing in London, Westminster council announced plans in 2018 to ban new super size properties built for overseas billionaires.
The ban came into force this year but does not apply to the redevelopment of existing mansions.
Richard Beddoe, a councillor who oversees planning at Westminster, said in 2018: “We want Westminster to be home to thriving, mixed, communities, not empty super-prime properties.
“That’s why we will be restricting the size of new luxury apartments and introducing a new extra-bedroom policy to make it easier for families to extend their homes so they have enough space to stay living in Westminster and are not forced to move out.”