Steel tycoon Mittal to sell his London home


London : Steel tycoon Lakshmi N. Mittal is selling his sprawling 40-million-pound (nearly $61-million) house in London in protest against plans to build an apartment block next door, British newspapers reported Friday.

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Mittal, among the world’s richest men, led the opposition of his neighbours at The Bishops Avenue – known as ‘Billionaires’ Row’ – when property developers Barratt Homes applied for permission to build a block of flats.

Although they look smart, Barratts properties have a reputation in Britain that is more associated with the middle classes than the global super rich. Barratts houses and apartments have a uniform appearance, unlike the individual and quirky looks that the very wealthy can afford.

However, Mittal does not live in the steel-and-glass Bishops Avenue house, having left it for a 70-million-pound mansion in Kensington two years ago.

The Daily Telegraph said Mittal decided to put his 11-bedroom house, called The Summer Palace, on sale because Barratts have been granted permission to build the flats.

The flats themselves will be a snip at between four million and 11 million pounds ($6.08 million and $16.8 million) each.

Trevor Abrahmson, of Glentree Estates, one of two agents selling the property, said: “The Bishops Avenue is a global name. It is well known to the international wealthy and for them to have a house here is the ultimate status symbol.”

Mittal reportedly bought the house for 6.5 million pounds in 1995.

The London Evening Standard said the 12 flats are in a new building called Allingham Court, and are nearing completion.

The application for redevelopment of the property was made some three years ago by its former owner Princess Samerah Bint Mokhtar Al-Saadawi, whose son, Prince Mokhtar Al-Saadawi, is third in line to the Saudi Arabian throne and the country’s defence minister.

Mittal lodged objections with the local council, which rejected the plans.

The princess then withdrew her application and sold the property to Barratt Homes for just under £19 million in 2005.