ONE of Britain's richest men has submitted a new proposal to build a second home on his Hampshire estate.

Billionaire businessman Jim Ratcliffe is constructing a seafront mansion at Thorns Beach, near Beaulieu, after winning a six-year battle to secure planning permission.

Sir Jim's first application to build a caretaker's cottage on neighbouring land was submitted earlier this year.

As reported in the Daily Echo the Environment Agency lodged an objection, claiming the danger of flooding meant anyone living in the cottage would not be safe.

Beaulieu Parish Council also criticised the scheme, citing the size of proposed outbuildings and the "serious health and safety concerns" raised by the Environment Agency.

New Forest Post:

Sir Jim withdrew the application but has now submitted a revised scheme.

The floor level has been raised to combat the risk of flooding, the size of the garage has been reduced and the proposed landscaping has been "updated and rationalised".

The site is currently occupied by a two-bedroom property, Garden Cottage, which the application describes as "no longer adequate for modern-day living".

Sir Jim, who co-founded the chemical group Ineos and is said to be worth £18bn, is seeking consent to replace the existing property with a three-bedroom cottage.

It will be occupied by a "permanent guardian" who will be responsible for tending to the site and the main property, Thorns Beach House.

Ancillary outbuildings will be used to store vehicles and garden equipment.

New Forest Post:

The application says: "The proposed replacement dwelling has been designed to a scale and proportion that evokes the character of a rural home.

"The internal design and materials seek to give an authentic cottage feel, with elements such as an exposed structural oak frame in the main living space."

Reclaimed materials such as bricks and tiles will used in the property's construction.

The application will be determined by the New Forest National Park Authority (NPA).

Its initial assessment of the proposal says the outbuildings will be used by the occupants of the new cottage, whereas those included in the previous application would have been used by people living at Thorns Beach House.

It adds: "The application raises a number of issues.

"The existing cottage has not been occupied for a number of years and there is therefore a question of whether the residential use has been abandoned."