Billionaire John Caudwell, the founder of mobile-phone retailer Phones4U, won approval for an extension that’s almost 10 times the size of the average U.K. home to a property in London’s affluent Mayfair district.
Caudwell, 61, can develop an additional 938 square meters (10,097 square feet) of living space connecting two houses near Curzon Street, known as hedge-fund alley, after the project was approved late today in a vote by Westminster borough council.
Regulations protecting older buildings and preventing high-rise construction has led to a shortage of space in West End neighborhoods including Mayfair, prompting owners to extend properties to make them more valuable. Caudwell, who sold Phones4U for 1.46 billion pounds ($2 billion) in 2006, plans to include a swimming pool, games room, sauna and car elevator as part of the extension, according to a filing to the borough.
Caudwell bought the homes for 81 million pounds in 2012, the Daily Mail reported in October. He has a net worth of 1.5 billion pounds, according to The Sunday Times Rich List.
The average size of a family home in the U.K. is about 97 square meters, insurer and asset manager Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Ltd. said in a Jan. 7 statement.
Prices of houses and apartments in the U.K. capital’s most expensive neighborhoods will gain 4 percent this year, about half of the increase in 2013, London-based broker Knight Frank LLP said in a Dec. 21 report. Properties in Chelsea, Mayfair and Knightsbridge last year underperformed the rest of London’s best areas for the first time in a decade.