Thursday, 20 September 2018

'Elegant country home' for former F1 boss approved

'Elegant country home' for former F1 boss approved

FORMER Formula 1 boss Ron Dennis has been granted planning permission for an “elegant country house” at the former Park Place estate in Remenham.

The 70-year-old, who currently lives in Virginia Water in Surrey, bought 175 acres of land at the former Park Place estate in the summer after selling his 25 per cent stake in the McLaren Technology Group for £275 million.

The new U-shaped house will have three storeys and a basement, with six bedrooms, a roof terrace and a large mezzanine with a spiral staircase as well as a large reflective pool at the front of the building.

The basement will contain kitchens, wine cellars and offices for staff as well as a games room, cinema and swimming pool.

There will also be a new gatehouse and accommodation for staff, which will be joined to the two wings of the main house by a tunnel. The planning application said: “The proposed building would be an elegant country house built to a high standard of design and environmental performance.”

Wokingham Borough Council’s planning committee approved the application on the condition that the gatehouse and staff accommodation are ancillary to the main house and none of the previously approved plans are implemented.

John Bateman, of developer Spink Property, who worked on the plans with Mr Dennis, told a meeting of Wargrave Parish Council in December that the application was the last of several different plans.

He said: “There has been a number of large houses designed and consented on that plot in the last seven years.

“The new owner is very keen on Foster & Partners and they have come up with a variant of what has been done previously.”

The main access to the house will be from Culham Lane, via an existing driveway originally used to access the car park of an old golf club, but there will be another entrance for staff and deliveries on Kentons Lane, next to the staff accommodation.

Parish councillors said they were concerned about access.

Councillor Philip Davies said: “The main gatehouse is not going to be used much — this is going to be the main in and out for people and goods. That would be my main concern. It’s not very clear from these plans where the entry and exit lines are on Kentons Lane. That lane would be wrecked in short order.”

Mr Bateman said they could consider creating a larger exit further along the road.

Developer Michael Spink sold Park Place and 40 per cent of the 500-acre estate in 2011 for a then record £140million after spending four years renovating and modernising the property, which is Grade II listed and about 300 years old.

The buyer was Andrey Borodin, who was chief executive of the Bank of Moscow but fled Russia in 2011 after being accused of fraud and was granted political asylum in 2013.

The site is now known as Strowdes after Richard de la Strowde, who created the estate in the mid 13th century.

Mr Dennis’s purchase from Spink Construction was revealed in documents filed at Companies House by Abelo Estates, which he owns.

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