HE’S the billionaire businessman who has given a whole new meaning to the word ‘persistent’.

Displaying the never-say-die approach that has made him one of Britain’s most successful entrepreneurs, Jim Ratcliffe – who was number 18 in the Sunday Times Rich List published this week – has submitted yet another application to build a luxury home on the Hampshire coast.

One of his previous plans was withdrawn and three others were rejected – but Mr Ratcliffe is still refusing to take “no” for an answer.

However, his latest scheme is less ambitious than the first four – all of which were thrown out on environmental grounds.

This time the 64-year-old father of three – who is valued at £5.75 billion – is seeking consent for a single-storey home with three bedrooms, a large living/dining space and a summer house.

The two-hectare site at Thorns Beach, near Beaulieu, is currently occupied by a two-bedroom bungalow.

Planning documents submitted to the New Forest National Park Authority (NPA) say the proposed new house is 30 per cent larger than the existing property but “significantly smaller” than previous schemes.

They add: “The development will ultimately benefit the site for many years and avoid impacting the local surroundings and wider landscape.

“The proposed buildings have been designed to a suitable scale and proportion that evokes the character of a rural home.

“This scheme has been carefully considered with reference to local planning policies and guidance provided by the New Forest National Park.”

Mr Ratcliffe has fought a long-running battle with the NPA over his determination to redevelop the seafront site, which he has owned for several years.

His first application was withdrawn after sparking a large number of objections and the second was rejected by the NPA. Mr Ratcliffe went back to the drawing board but his third proposal was refused in 2014 and a similar scheme was turned down the following year.

Objectors included Mary Montagu-Scott, daughter of the previous Lord Montagu, who said Mr Ratcliffe should buy an existing house elsewhere instead of “spoiling” an environmentally-sensitive stretch of coastline.

The entrepreneur appealed against the 2014 and 2015 decisions – but both rulings were upheld by government-appointed planning inspector Jennifer Tempest last year.

Mr Ratcliffe is founder of the INEOS chemical group.

In 2010 he moved INEOS’s head office from Hampshire to Rolle in Switzerland, and then to London last year. The company still has a sales office in Lyndhurst.