Today The Car Spotter will be discussing the recent planning approval for one of the world’s richest men to build a six-storey car park and housing complex for 114 supercars and limousines in Battersea next to the heliport at the side of the Thames in London.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai recently submitted a planning application including storage to house his supercars and apartments for his chauffeurs and staff. The planning application was approved by Wandsworth council and included plans for an 8 storey building, two storey’s below ground and 6 above.
The wealthy Sheikh owns Smech Management Co, based in Belgravia, London and KJ Architects LTD, which is listed in the plans. He is also rumoured to own racehorses and the Godolphin stable.
For years mystery has surrounded the site which is close to the London Heliport. Neighbours reported limousines coming and going, chauffeured vehicles, nightly bin collections and security guards on site. The site is between Chatfield Road and Mendip Road.
Some of the public in London are outraged by the decision and feel the site should be used for affordable housing. Labour Latchmere councillor Tony Belton said,” “This is absurd that we should agree to a six-storey building just so an extremely rich man can indulge his fantasies when we need houses for people and families.”
Labour parliamentary candidate for Battersea Will Martindale said: “When the current housing crisis in Battersea and across Wandsworth is being felt no matter if you are in social housing, private renting, or own your own home; the green light given by the Conservative Wandsworth Council to a six-storey car park for the man’s private car collection is simply absurd.
“We should be encouraging and even taking a lead to build new affordable homes for people within our communities – not creating ghost towns left empty by overseas investors.”
If the plans go ahead, the existing building will be demolished with a six-storey property with two floors in the basement will take its place. The document also agrees to enter a local employment agreement to ensure provision for Wandsworth people.
The plans are set to cost approximately £20million.
For car spotters and enthusiasts however it will certainly be a good prospect if the Sheikh ships over his 114 strong car collection. There will be some really rare cars on the streets of London as the family is known to visit Knightsbridge and the surrounding area during summer. The Sheikh owns a Mercedes G63 AMG with the number plate ‘1’ in Dubai.
I can see the obvious outrage that the site is being used for the interests of one individual and not for the greater good of the general public by building more affordable housing in large numbers. The site is owned by one individual and not by the council so it is ultimately his decision what he wants to do with the land. For car enthusiasts and supercar lovers the vehicles will make a great addition to London’s thriving supercar scene.
Do you think the Sheikh of Dubai should be allowed to build a six-storey car park to house his 114 supercars or should the space be used for local housing?