We are not lowering the class of Billionaire’s Row’

PUBLISHED: 15:55 13 March 2008 | UPDATED: 14:51 07 September 2010

THE developers behind a new apartment complex on The Bishops Avenue have laughed off suggestions that their work is causing an exodus of billionaires from the area

Katie Davies

THE developers behind a new apartment complex on The Bishops Avenue have laughed off suggestions that their work is causing an exodus of billionaires from the area.

Barratt Homes' new complex of 12 apartments, named Allingham Court, had courted controversy prior to the official launch last Wednesday.

Reports were circulating that next door neighbour Lakshmi Mittal, who was this week named the richest man in England, had decided to sell up in protest that the less exclusive "middle-class" home builder was setting up shop.

However, Barratt has dismissed the claims and, with their price tags between £4million and £11million, claim it's a bit rich to say they would lower standards.

Spokesman Andrew Storey said: "Luxury development is not something new for us. My office in West London opened in 1996 and we have been developing the luxury market in London since then. Lakshmi Mittal bought a home from Bernie Ecclestone and moved out well before we started this. I haven't spoken to him about what he thinks about this development but it is in fitting with building standards up and down The Bishops Avenue.

"None of the buyers are here and are all very private people. Security is very important here. We will have a full 24-hour con-cierge service with CCTV covering the complex as a perimeter fence. We have sold four already."

The industrialist Mr Mittal had been involved in a long-standing row over the land next to his £40million 'Summer Palace'.

In 2005 plans to revamp the mansion - then owned by Saudi Princess Mokhtar Al-Saadawi - were opposed by Mr Mittal.

The agent tasked with selling the Mittal residence, Trevor Abrahamson from Glentree International, has dismissed the rumours of a new rift and says the sale of the Mittal home was planned long before.

The Glentree boss added: "If I was Mr Mittal, rather than seeing a rotting relic of a home standing here for 20 years, I would prefer to see this development."

And it seems unlikely that the new homes will open the floodgates to hugely different characters. The apartments come with a marble lift, indoor pool and gym, personal assistant service organised through Harrods and a valet.

This is the third set of apartments to open on the opulent road, which has led many to question whether spiralling mansions are a thing of the past on The Bishops Avenue.

This too is unfounded, claims Mr Storey.

"This is the third set of apartments on the road. However, there are currently two planning applications in for single homes," he added. "I think there is room for a mixture on The Bishops Avenue."

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