Ex-wife of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich wants to rebuild West Sussex home

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  • Irina Abramovich seeks permission for replacement house
  • Objector says plan not in keeping with idllic setting in South Downs National Park
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The former wife of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is renewing her efforts to rebuild her home on her £18m West Sussex estate.

The property in Rogate is part of the 1,500-acre estate which was bought by the Russian billionaire in 2000.

The existing dwelling is no longer fit for purpose

Planning agent for Irina Abramovich

The application therefore proposes the erection of a replacement dwelling which has been designed to complement the character and appearance of dwellings in the area.

It was awarded to his wife Irina when the couple split up in 2007 in a divorce settlement said to be in the region of £150m.

Last year she submitted a planning application to the South Downs National Park Authority to demolish and replace the farmhouse and make alterations to the site’s neighbouring outbuildings.

The plan with its imposing tower-style features at either end did not find favour with neighbours.

One nearby neighbour Joanna James objected on the grounds the estate was part of ‘English heritage’ exuding ‘charm and character of the quintessential English countryside.’

She said the plans were not in keeping with the idyllic surroundings.

Agents acting for Mrs Abramovich later withdrew the planning application and have now submitted a revised version.

The new plans are for a replacement house and alterations and the erection of a link extension between two outbuildings.

The new house would have 64 per cent more floor space and a footprint of some 250sqm providing 475sqm of accommodation over two floors compared with a 150sqm footprint currently giving 290sqm of accommodation.

Acting for Mrs Abramovich, her planning agents said: “The existing dwelling is no longer fit for purpose with very low ceiling heights, no insulation on the ground floor, rising damp and poor internal light levels.

“The application therefore proposes the erection of a replacement dwelling which has been designed to complement the character and appearance of dwellings in the area.”