David Cameron’s move to a £17 million mansion in Holland Park is likely to turn an unwelcome glare on to a super-rich inner suburb favoured by privacy-seeking celebrities, among them Elton John, the Beckhams, Simon Cowell, Robbie Williams, Richard Branson and Led Zeppelin rocker Jimmy Page.
Green and spacious, the Holland Park district, as distinct from the park itself, covers the western flanks of Campden Hill and holds the highest concentration of large houses, some now embassies, in the Royal Borough of Kensington.
A nine-bedroom home could be bought there for £8,000 in 1954 — still only about £153,000 in today’s money. Back then, many of the grand old properties were hard to sell in an area considered too close to the council estates of Notting Hill. This kept Holland Park’s early Victorian architecture intact for a later generation of gentrifiers.
Now with conservation groups keeping guard over these listed buildings, there appear to be few opportunities to squeeze in new homes, but a site has been found at 205 Holland Park Avenue.
An office block has been bulldozed to make way for 41 flats in what is the first apartment scheme for 50 years in this busy tree-lined road that runs westwards to Shepherd’s Bush.
There are five linked pavilion buildings up to 10 storeys high with landscaped grounds, underground parking, 24-hour concierge and work spaces at street level. Prices from £1.1 million for a two-bedroom flat. Call Redrow on 020 3538 2058.
Another 72 apartments are being built on land that was part of Holland Park School, a state secondary known as the “Socialist Eton” because Labour MP Tony Benn and other party grandees sent their children there. Developer Native Land expects to finish the project by the end of this year.
And the Candy brothers’ CPC Group has won a planning battle to demolish an existing block of flats in Holland Park, the road, and build 24 luxury apartments.