Jon Hunt, the billionaire who founded Foxtons, has defeated the French government’s bid to prevent him creating a ‘mega-basement’ in his grade II listed mansion house next to the embassy of France in Kensington Palace Gardens, London.
Hunt and his wife Lois had started work on their home - the former Soviet mission next to the embassy - with a view to a mega-basement accommodating a classic car collection.
The couple were first granted planning permission and listed building consent in 2008 with a smaller scheme receiving listed building consent in 2010; in 2011, freehold owners Crown Estates granted a limited licence to allow excavation to go ahead.
The French authorities went to court to challenge the validity of some of the consents granted by Kensington and Chelsea local authority. However, their application for a judicial review has been rejected and have ben ordered to pay the majority of the council's costs estimated as over £100,000.