Billionaire Jim Ratcliffe’s plans to beat rising sea levels with new home

Jim Ratcliffe

Jim Ratcliffe

First published in News
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by

HE has been dubbed Britain’s most successful post-war industrialist and is one of the country’s richest men.

But billionaire businessman Jim Ratcliffe is hoping to go up in the world – by building a house that can be raised off the ground to protect it from rising sea levels.

Mr Ratcliffe, 61, has launched another attempt to gain planning permission for a luxury mansion on the Hampshire coast.

The latest design includes scores of hydraulic jacks that will enable the multi-million-pound house to literally rise above the problem of climate change.

The application says the property may have to be elevated by as much as 700mm during its 100-year lifetime.

It adds: “The house will therefore have the ground-breaking capability of being raised on jacks.

“The structural design allows for this to happen at any time in the future as sea levels rise.

“This is primarily achieved by the nature of a reinforced concrete slab over the basement and the provision of pockets into which a total of 70 jacks can be inserted and hydraulically activated.

“All service connections will be designed to be extendable.”

Daily Echo: An artist's impression of the house

But Mr Ratcliffe’s latest proposal has already divided people living near the seafront site at Thorns Beach, south of Beaulieu.

One of the letters received by the National Park Authority (NPA), which will decide the application, said: “This is a building worthy of the site.”

But another Beaulieu resident adds: “The only innovative feature is the jacking up of the house for future flood defence.

“I do not think this is in any way practicable. It may be possible to lift the building but not to control the surrounding land from flooding, making access impossible in the long-term.”

Mr Ratcliffe’s previous plan to build a five-bedroom property at Thorns Beach was thrown out by the NPA in 2012 and rejected on appeal.

Now the businessman has submitted a revised scheme that aims to create “a distinctive house with a character of its own”.

The application says: “The replacement of an existing dwelling, affectionately known as The Shack, has been a long-held ambition by Mr Ratcliffe.

“We consider that the proposed dwelling achieves the highest standards in design.”

Mr Ratcliffe is one of Britain’s richest men, as earlier this year he was reported to be worth £1 billion.

His fortune includes his stake in INEOS, which he founded in 1998.

INEOS moved to Switzerland in 2010 but still has offices in Lyndhurst.

Comments (9)

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12:45pm Fri 8 Aug 14

forest hump says...

Worked at same place as Jim in late 70's....he was in his late twenties and was clever beyond his years then.
Worked at same place as Jim in late 70's....he was in his late twenties and was clever beyond his years then. forest hump
  • Score: 2

1:37pm Fri 8 Aug 14

190385saints says...

Yeah he's great a exploiting his workforce. What a clever chap.
Yeah he's great a exploiting his workforce. What a clever chap. 190385saints
  • Score: -2

2:51pm Fri 8 Aug 14

warrens 76 says...

190385saints wrote:
Yeah he's great a exploiting his workforce. What a clever chap.
Got to hand it to some posters proof positive that we are world class at envy.
[quote][p][bold]190385saints[/bold] wrote: Yeah he's great a exploiting his workforce. What a clever chap.[/p][/quote]Got to hand it to some posters proof positive that we are world class at envy. warrens 76
  • Score: 3

3:47pm Fri 8 Aug 14

lastminmoran says...

VERY interesting, but it would be better to build it on high ground like the cavemen? if and when the sea rises,you will be able to have a sea view anyway. OR IN THE MEANTIME what about that fort out in the solent? man of means must have a helicopter? but then again if the mainland and the poor old isle of white do go under, where does one go to do one's shopping? hope you buy a big freezer. does tesco home delivery have a submarine service?
VERY interesting, but it would be better to build it on high ground like the cavemen? if and when the sea rises,you will be able to have a sea view anyway. OR IN THE MEANTIME what about that fort out in the solent? man of means must have a helicopter? but then again if the mainland and the poor old isle of white do go under, where does one go to do one's shopping? hope you buy a big freezer. does tesco home delivery have a submarine service? lastminmoran
  • Score: 1

5:19pm Fri 8 Aug 14

forest hump says...

190385saints wrote:
Yeah he's great a exploiting his workforce. What a clever chap.
I'll think you will find his workforce are extremely well paid! Last time I was at Grangemouth (not too long ago) the vast majority were very happy. No doubt Southy will stick his five eggs in now with a tirade of complete and utter drivel detailing the exploitation of the INEOS slaves!
[quote][p][bold]190385saints[/bold] wrote: Yeah he's great a exploiting his workforce. What a clever chap.[/p][/quote]I'll think you will find his workforce are extremely well paid! Last time I was at Grangemouth (not too long ago) the vast majority were very happy. No doubt Southy will stick his five eggs in now with a tirade of complete and utter drivel detailing the exploitation of the INEOS slaves! forest hump
  • Score: 2

9:20pm Fri 8 Aug 14

Sir Ad E Noid says...

forest hump wrote:
190385saints wrote:
Yeah he's great a exploiting his workforce. What a clever chap.
I'll think you will find his workforce are extremely well paid! Last time I was at Grangemouth (not too long ago) the vast majority were very happy. No doubt Southy will stick his five eggs in now with a tirade of complete and utter drivel detailing the exploitation of the INEOS slaves!
Ineos employees were very poorly served by their Union. Grangemouth was on the brink of shutting down had it not been for the humiliating and embarrassing climbdown by the Union. Their conditions and pay now reflect the dire straights that Company were in. Thankfully, with over £300,000,000 of investment due, the future looks rosy.
[quote][p][bold]forest hump[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]190385saints[/bold] wrote: Yeah he's great a exploiting his workforce. What a clever chap.[/p][/quote]I'll think you will find his workforce are extremely well paid! Last time I was at Grangemouth (not too long ago) the vast majority were very happy. No doubt Southy will stick his five eggs in now with a tirade of complete and utter drivel detailing the exploitation of the INEOS slaves![/p][/quote]Ineos employees were very poorly served by their Union. Grangemouth was on the brink of shutting down had it not been for the humiliating and embarrassing climbdown by the Union. Their conditions and pay now reflect the dire straights that Company were in. Thankfully, with over £300,000,000 of investment due, the future looks rosy. Sir Ad E Noid
  • Score: 1

10:54am Sat 9 Aug 14

forest hump says...

Sir Ad E Noid wrote:
forest hump wrote:
190385saints wrote:
Yeah he's great a exploiting his workforce. What a clever chap.
I'll think you will find his workforce are extremely well paid! Last time I was at Grangemouth (not too long ago) the vast majority were very happy. No doubt Southy will stick his five eggs in now with a tirade of complete and utter drivel detailing the exploitation of the INEOS slaves!
Ineos employees were very poorly served by their Union. Grangemouth was on the brink of shutting down had it not been for the humiliating and embarrassing climbdown by the Union. Their conditions and pay now reflect the dire straights that Company were in. Thankfully, with over £300,000,000 of investment due, the future looks rosy.
I was there before the recent "incident". You say they are in poor shape after humiliating climbdown? I think you need to look long and hard at the Grangemouth area in general and then compare their package! The refining industry in Europe is on its knees due to cheap imports and disproportionately high taxation by governments. For Jim Ratcliffe to invest in Grangemouth is a very brave and risky move. The employees could easily be seeking jobseekers allowance!
[quote][p][bold]Sir Ad E Noid[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]forest hump[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]190385saints[/bold] wrote: Yeah he's great a exploiting his workforce. What a clever chap.[/p][/quote]I'll think you will find his workforce are extremely well paid! Last time I was at Grangemouth (not too long ago) the vast majority were very happy. No doubt Southy will stick his five eggs in now with a tirade of complete and utter drivel detailing the exploitation of the INEOS slaves![/p][/quote]Ineos employees were very poorly served by their Union. Grangemouth was on the brink of shutting down had it not been for the humiliating and embarrassing climbdown by the Union. Their conditions and pay now reflect the dire straights that Company were in. Thankfully, with over £300,000,000 of investment due, the future looks rosy.[/p][/quote]I was there before the recent "incident". You say they are in poor shape after humiliating climbdown? I think you need to look long and hard at the Grangemouth area in general and then compare their package! The refining industry in Europe is on its knees due to cheap imports and disproportionately high taxation by governments. For Jim Ratcliffe to invest in Grangemouth is a very brave and risky move. The employees could easily be seeking jobseekers allowance! forest hump
  • Score: 1

9:18am Mon 11 Aug 14

AFrustratedCyclist says...

How ironic considering the industry that he's in that he's concerned about rising sea levels. luckiness for him though he's got enough money to cope with it. Many around the world who have less choices about where they live don't and will suffer for his profits in his multi million pound house by the sea.
How ironic considering the industry that he's in that he's concerned about rising sea levels. luckiness for him though he's got enough money to cope with it. Many around the world who have less choices about where they live don't and will suffer for his profits in his multi million pound house by the sea. AFrustratedCyclist
  • Score: 0

10:29am Fri 22 Aug 14

New Forest Ranger says...

I am disappointed and surprised that the Daily Echo would publish an artists impression of the smaller 'SIDE ELEVATION' of Mr Ratcliffe's proposed new home on the Hampshire coast at Thorns Beach, misleading your readers and giving the impression that the original 2012 proposals had been scaled down, which in fact they have not.
In previous Daily Echo articles relating to this planning application you have illustrated the main 'sea front'' elevation of the house; why did you choose not to publish this much larger 'MAIN ELEVATION' on this occasion?
Many of your readers have been mislead by your article and by the apparent reduction in scale of the proposals, and as a consequence chosen not to object to what is fundamentally the same design as proposed and rejected in 2012.
I am disappointed and surprised that the Daily Echo would publish an artists impression of the smaller 'SIDE ELEVATION' of Mr Ratcliffe's proposed new home on the Hampshire coast at Thorns Beach, misleading your readers and giving the impression that the original 2012 proposals had been scaled down, which in fact they have not. In previous Daily Echo articles relating to this planning application you have illustrated the main 'sea front'' elevation of the house; why did you choose not to publish this much larger 'MAIN ELEVATION' on this occasion? Many of your readers have been mislead by your article and by the apparent reduction in scale of the proposals, and as a consequence chosen not to object to what is fundamentally the same design as proposed and rejected in 2012. New Forest Ranger
  • Score: 0

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