Credit Suisse banker buys £2.4m Holland Park house to help ease approval for Belgravia super-flat

Just imagine being so rich you can afford to buy three flats in Belgravia to knock into one big home, and knowing that the council might object on grounds of reducing the housing stock, you solve the problem by buying another super-expensive house to divide into four flats, thus more than restoring the balance of property stock in the borough. 
This shrewd move has been made by a Cambridge law graduate-turned-banker, Credit Suisse chief Garrett Curran, 43, who has bought three flats in Pont Street, and is so determined to amalgamate them into a super-apartment that he has spent £2.4 million on a Holland Park house he is planning to carve up.

Planning documents lodged with Kensington and Chelsea council last month show how he plans to divide the Holland Park property.


Kensington and Chelsea is under pressure from the Government to increase the total number of homes in the borough — and it therefore has a track record of refusing amalgamation plans such as Mr Curran’s, because they could result in a net loss of homes.

However, Mr Curran’s advisers point out that while his plan to create a six-bedroom home within the Grade II-listed red-brick terrace will result in the loss of two flats, by simultaneously converting the run-down house in Holland Road into four separate flats, the borough will end up with an extra home. 

“This is in relation to the proposed overall land use swap, which sees the three amalgamated units at Pont Street offset by the creation of additional units at Holland Road,” explained a report by planning consultants Savills. “Overall, the proposals result in one additional unit within the borough.”

According to Land Registry documents, Mr Curran paid £2.4 million for the Holland Park house this summer, using a mortgage from royal bank Coutts. 

Mr Curran embarked on this radical course of action after studying previous cases in which the council has refused planning consent for plans similar to his Pont Street proposals. 

In January, the council refused to grant planning permission to convert two flats in Palace Gardens Terrace into a single unit.  

A report by Jonathan Bore, executive director of planning and borough development at the council, pointed out that “the loss of housing … should be resisted unless it is replaced at existing or higher densities with at least equivalent floor space”. 

Mr Curran studied law at Cambridge University and was appointed chief executive of finance giant Credit Suisse in the UK and Ireland in 2013. 

If his plans are approved by the council later this year, the amalgamated Pont Street home would be worth about £10 million.

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