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Bid approved to flatten house and build basement at Swiss Cottage home linked to Panama Papers and property billionaire

PUBLISHED: 12:15 07 December 2018 | UPDATED: 13:23 07 December 2018

46 Avenue Road. Picture: Harry Taylor

46 Avenue Road. Picture: Harry Taylor

Archant

An application to redevelop a house in Swiss Cottage, owned by an off-shore company linked to an address in the Panama Papers and billionaire property mogul Sol Zakay, has been approved.

The proposal put before Camden Council by Brightwood Ltd was for the demolition of 46 Avenue Road and rebuilding of 46 Avenue Road, with a new basement swimming pool and summer house.

Its neo-classical facade will be kept.

There were concerns about the effect on a nearby recording studio which is used by charity, the Solti Foundation.

However the Ham&High can reveal the property is registered to an off-shore company whose address was named in the Panama Papers.

According to Land Registry, the house is owned by Brightwood Properties, which is registered at 57/63 Line Wall Road in Gibraltar. The record for the property said it was bought for £19million in 2007.

The address was listed in the Panama Papers, which were leaked in 2015.

Brightwood Ltd is listed in planning documents at the same Wigmore Street address where a host of Mr Zakay’s companies are registered.

S&A Residential Properties Ltd, is registered at the Avenue Road address where the basement development was granted, with Sol Zakay and Adi Zakay registered as directors.

A spokesperson for Topland Group said: “Topland Group can confirm that one of its subsidiaries, Berkley Estates London Ltd, is the managing agent for Brightwood Properties Ltd, the registered owner of 46 Avenue Road. As such, we are aware of plans for a renovation of the property, which [have been] considered by the London Borough of Camden.

“Furthermore, we can confirm that all Topland Group companies are fully compliant with UK tax law.”

At the meeting at the Crowndale Centre last night, Camden Council’s planning officers assured committee members that the nearby recording studio used by the Solti Foundation would not be affected by noise from the plant for the swimming pool.

It is owned by the former TV presenter and charity patron Lady Anne Solti. It is used by the foundation as a place where young professional musicians can record music.

Speaking to the committee, Richard Limbrick said the council was “confident” mitigate the noise, and it would be no louder than normal background levels.

He also said that while the basement proposals flout the Camden Plan’s basement rules on depth, he was satisfied it should be granted in “exceptional” circumstances.

Camden’s planning rules means it can grant permission for deeper than usual basements, to accommodate swimming pools.

Mr Zakay left Britain to move to Gibraltar in 2009, but returned to in 2013 to become executive chairman and CEO of property and investment group Topland, which he owns with his brother Eddie. According to Forbes, the pair are worth about £1.8billion.

Lady Solti has been contacted for comment.

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