Multi-billionaire back with new plan for mansion’s caretaker cottage

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Jim Ratcliffe
Sir Jim Ratcliffe has put in a revised bid for a caretaker’s cottage close to his Beaulieu mansion

MULTI-BILLIONAIRE businessman Sir Jim Ratcliffe has made a revised bid to build a caretaker’s cottage close to his controversial beachfront mansion at Beaulieu.

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Work is under way at Thorns Beach to build the residence for Sir Jim, the co-founder and chairman of chemical giant INEOS, after he won a six-year battle with national park authority planners.

But he also wants to replace an unoccupied two-bedroom garden cottage within a walled garden on the estate with a modern version for a “caretaker” to oversee the site and equipment there.

He first applied for permission to do that in October, but was subsequently forced to withdraw the plan after concerns were raised by the Environment Agency in relation to flooding.

Now Sir Jim (67) has submitted a new bid seeking permission for a three-bedroom, single-storey cottage on the estate. It also features a detached garage with a side workshop and a garden shed.

Artist impressions of front (left) and rear of the proposed caretaker’s cottage

In the design statement, Sir Jim’s planning agent PWP architects said the updated proposal had come about after it held discussions with the NPA’s case officer Claire Ings.

Having listened to the flooding concerns, the new application has moved the proposed location of the cottage to an area with a lower risk of flooding.

It stressed the cottage would provide a “family residence for a permanent guardian who will be responsible for tending to the site and neighbouring Thorns Beach House”, and other buildings would store vehicles and garden equipment, whose presence was “essential”.

The document continued: “The proposed replacement dwelling has been designed to a suitable scale and proportion that evokes the character of a rural home.”

As a priority the design upheld the “unique aesthetic and ecological qualities of the coastal landscape and walled garden” and it “integrates sympathetically” to avoid impacting neighbouring properties, the agent claimed.

The accommodation would “facilitate the modern day-to-day needs of the occupants”, it said. “The replacement dwelling provides a modest and secure accommodation for the site guardian.”

No comments have yet been made on the plans, which will be determined by the NPA.

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