Hedge fund boss is hit with £800k council fee to build a mega-basement below Kensington mansion in unprecedented levy against ‘iceberg homes’
- Reade Griffith ordered to pay fee to install two-storey
- Basement Build will house pool and spa and likely add £10million to house value
- Experts said the levy is unprecedented for homeowners and is normally reserved for large-scale developments
- Basement equivalent to eight average-sized new-build family homes
- Kensington and Chelsea Council said it will be used for affordable housing
A hedge fund manager has been ordered to pay a fee of more than £800,000 to create a huge two-storey underground basement below his mansion. The unprecedented levy on a basement excavation has shocked property experts and appears to mark the beginning of a council fightback against the creation of ‘iceberg homes’ in exclusive areas. Multi-millionaire Reade Griffith, 48, and his wife Elizabeth, 42, plan to build a vast subterranean extension underneath two adjoining Kensington townhouses at an estimated cost of £4million.
Housing a swimming pool, spa and ‘treatment ‘area’ it is likely to add £10million to the value of the property. At about 900 square metres, the basement would be the equivalent to eight average-sized new-build family homes. But due to the sheer scale of the extension, Kensington and Chelsea Council asked for a one-off fee of £825,000 when it granted planning permission earlier this month. According to planning documents seen by the Daily Mail, the fee will go towards affordable housing elsewhere in the borough. Such payments – known as ‘Section 106 agreements’ – are normally confined to large-scale commercial developments of housing estates. It is highly unusual for them to be applied to single private planning applications.
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