The race to create London’s most expensive home has a new entry - a sprawling compound in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, which, with a lavish makeover, is tipped to command a price tag in excess of £250 million.
The project is the brainchild of Christian Candy, one half of the Candy Brothers team behind the record-breaking One Hyde Park in Knightsbridge, where an apartment was sold to an eastern European buyer for a cool £136 million.
Christian and brother Nick paid £75 million for a long lease on Gordon House (right), a listed building inside the Royal Hospital walls. Now Christian has submitted plans for its complete refurbishment. Kensington and Chelsea council will rule on the plans this summer.
If approved the scheme will create a private hamlet in the heart of Chelsea including Gordon House, the Orangery, which is Grade II* listed and was designed by Vanbrugh in 1726, and Creek Lodge, also Grade II-listed.
They also propose building a substantial new annexe with a basement at Gordon House, which was originally built for a high-ranking army officer, but has been used as staff accommodation for Royal Hospital staff since the 1890s, and is currently divided into flats.
Under plans drawn up by Paul Davis + Partners architects, it will be turned into a “single family residence”, connected to the l-shaped orangery, which will have a 20 new “historically accurate” floor-to-ceiling sash windows added to flood it with light.
The house will have room for everything from a china room to a tea lounge, plus four bedrooms and a master suite with his and hers bathrooms and dressing rooms.
Creek Lodge will be renovated into a self-contained two-bedroom house, ideal for guests or staff. The annexe, to be built in neo classical style, will provide guest accommodation, car parking for multiple vehicles and its basement will contain a leisure suite featuring a swimming pool, cinema, bowling alley, dance studio, two treatment rooms and a wine store. A below-ground walkway will link the annexe to the main house.
The compound will be protected behind high walls, and the grounds will feature two ornamental lakes in two acres of gardens.
“There are only five or six private properties in prime central London that even hit an acre let alone two acres,” said Claudia Stacey-Ralda, senior buying consultant at Prospect Property Search.
“It is like going to an auction house with a unique work of art and asking how much it would fetch – I would say a minimum of £150 million maybe £200 million. But you are relying on a handful of billionaires.” Mr Candy was unavailable for comment.
The sheer scale of the scheme could eclipse other “superhouse” projects including plans by another pair of property-developing siblings, Simon and David Reubin, who have just been granted planning consent to turn the former In and Out Club in Piccadilly to a private house which could be worth £200 million.
Last month the Evening Standard revealed that a 50,000 sq ft mansion on Carlton House Terrace, overlooking St James’s Park, had gone on the market for a record-breaking £250 million.