When you’ve just paid an eye-watering £120 million for your fully renovated 26,000sq ft home in Regent’s Park you might reasonably expect everything to be perfect.
But the Ukrainian oligarch who bought Hanover Lodge last year apparently feels it’s not quite up to scratch. He has submitted a series of applications to Westminster council requesting permission to further enlarge the basement and to remodel the interior of the Grade II*-listed building.
The house was previously owned by Lord Bagri, a Tory peer and metals trader who bought a long lease on it in 1994 for £5.9 million before embarking on an astonishing 10-year renovation project.
The scaffolding was finally removed in 2009 after an estimated £25 million makeover. During the course of the renovation, Lord Bagri’s architect, Quinlan Terry, a leading classical designer and a favourite of Prince Charles, was fined £25,000 for the demolition of two listed gatehouses on the site, which have since been replaced by a modern, neo-classical annexe.
Now the lodge’s unnamed new owner has decreed that the underground swimming pool, which converts into a ballroom, is “too small”. Plans have been drawn up to extend the basement to include a new larger pool, plus a sauna and steam room, gym, beauty salon, yoga studio, two massage rooms, a cinema, wine cellar and games room.
A separate application details plans to upgrade the rest of the nine-bedroom house. Much of the work appears to involve ripping out large swathes of expensive décor only recently installed by Lord Bagri, including intricate cornicing, decorative wall-frieze paintings and timber and marble floors.
They will be replaced by “simplified” plasterwork and Portland stone flooring, while all the bathrooms will be replaced.
Mark Pollack, of estate agents Hamilton Chase, said: “Even if it had been in the best possible taste, it is reasonable to conclude that someone who has spent £120 million is not going to make do with something which is not exactly what they want."
The owner of the property was unavailable for comment.