Sound of the underground: Christian Candy applies for permission to build mega extension under historic London home

Property tycoon Christian Candy has submitted plans to build what could be one of the largest basements in London to house a bowling alley, cinema and private spa under a two-century-old mansion owned by the Royal Hospital Chelsea

You may have heard about the new craze among the ultra-rich urbanites – basement conversions. From Jude Law’s underground gym in Highgate to Petra Ecclestone’s proposed basement pool in Chelsea, everyone seems to be at it!

Now hot shot developer Christian Candy has jumped on the bandwagon. Last week he submitted plans to Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council to build a bowling alley, cinema and private spa under his Chelsea property, Gordon House.

He bought the Thames-side property on a long lease from The Royal Hospital for a reported £75 million – the first time the house was offered on the market since it was built in 1809.

The Royal Hospital was founded by Charles II in 1682 and is home to the famous Chelsea pensioners.

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Candy, who is worth an estimated £150 million, bought the property, which was once nurses’ quarters at the hospital, last year.

The submitted plans detail a sprawling underground space, including a swimming pool, with a cold plunge pool and Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room.

The plans also show a dance studio, treatment rooms, a cinema and an 18-metre, two-lane bowling alley.

If approved, the plans would make it one of London’s largest home basements at 1,200 square metres.

The redevelopment plans for the
property include three historic buildings – the house, an orangery and a
smaller building, Creek Lodge – underneath which would be the basement
and a new two-storey modern annexe above it.

In the past few years, Kensington and Chelsea council has been inundated by planning applications for basement conversions. The council is set to
limit the size and depth of basements from the end of the year.

However, because Gordon House sits in
two-acre grounds, architects Paul Davis & Partners were able to design a much larger subterranean living area for the multi-millionaire developer.

Christian Candy and his brother Nick are reported to be worth a combined
£330 million and, through their company Candy & Candy,
developed one of London’s most exclusive addresses, One Hyde Park. The
luxury development opened last year, with the top floor penthouse
selling for a whopping £140 million.

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