Marcus Cooper has been granted planning permission to turn the properties overlooking Regent's Park into one private home that will rival Buckingham Palace
Neighbours – they can be so annoying, can’t they? If they’re not interrupting your well-earned Sunday morning lie-in with enthusiastic DIY-ing, their little darlings are running amok creating a din during your favourite soap…
What’s a girl to do?
Well, if you’re property developer Marcus Cooper, you – er – consolidate! Otherwise known as buying up all the surrounding properties, knocking down a few walls and creating your very own mega mansion. It’s certainly one way of dealing with curtain twitchers.
And my, Mr Cooper is certainly consolidating in style. The 46-year-old has recently been granted planning permission by Camden Council to transform seven Grade I-listed Regency properties overlooking Regent’s Park into one private home fit for a (VERY) wealthy person.
Renovations are expected to last three years and, once complete, the mansion will become London’s second largest residence after Buckingham Palace. Which is rather fitting as the seven stuccoed properties were designed by John Nash who was also the architect for the Palace.
Mr Cooper has also hit upon a genius idea to attone for the property’s lack of garden space (as if 472-acre Regent’s Park isn’t enough): the entire top floor of the mansion will be given over to a private roof garden with a sliding glass cover – handy for those pesky rain days.
And as if we weren’t impressed enough, the property guru is also throwing in a subterranean extension to house a luxury leisure complex. Because, of course, every girl needs a swimming pool (with pool-side bar), jacuzzi and a cinema.
Mr Cooper purchased the seven properties from the Crown Estate for a rather modest £23.7 million in 2007. It’s estimated that the new value of the converted home will be closer to £200 million – which, if it sells for this price, will make it one of the UK’s most expensive ever properties.
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At this eye-watering price, the stamp duty alone would be nudging the £14 million mark and, given that the average price of a home in the UK is £162,606, we can safely assume that it’s well out of reach for the vast majority.
The moral of the story? Love thy neighbour (and hope they keep the racket down).