ONE of Britain’s richest men has launched another bid to build a luxury waterfront home on the Hampshire coast, the Daily Echo can reveal.
Jim Ratcliffe, founder of the INEOS chemical company, is seeking consent to bulldoze a seafront bungalow near Beaulieu and replace it with a new property made mainly of glass.
Last year the 59-year-old business tycoon scrapped his original plan for a “next generation”mansion after the application sparked almost 40 protests.
The site at Thorns Beach is part of Lord Montagu’s 7,000- acre Beaulieu Estate, which was one of the objectors.
Designed by a leading architect who once worked for Prince Charles, the multi-million-pound scheme included a giant mast that overlooked the Solent. A boathouse, sauna and staff quarters were also proposed.
But the unusual design failed to impress Lord Montagu, who owns a nearby beach house.
In a hard-hitting letter to the National Park Authority (NPA), the estate said the proposed development was out of keeping. Beaulieu Parish Council, the New Forest Association and the Solent Protection Society also objected.
Now Mr Ratcliffe has submitted a revised scheme that aims to satisfy his critics.
He is asking the NPA for consent to build a fivebedroom retreat with large, open plan living quarters, plus an office, study and basement parking.
A letter accompanying the application says the house will be “fragmented” in design to reduce its visual impact. It adds that the property will be similar in size to two nearby homes, Durns House and Througham Place, and significantly lower in height than both buildings.
“From the Solent a new, larger dwelling will be visible on the site.
“However, the proposals respect the siting of the existing building and the scale of the proposed dwelling is similar to the buildings to the east and west.”
A Beaulieu Estate spokesman said managers had not had an opportunity to study the newly-submitted application and were unable to make any comment.
Last year Mr Ratcliffe was rated the 145th richest person in Britain after seeing his wealth rocket by £370m to £520m in the previous 12 months.
His fortune includes his stake in INEOS, which he founded in 1998. The company has moved its headquarters to Switzerland but still has offices in Lyndhurst .