Pakistani politician’s London mansion becomes the talk of the town

30 Oct 2013


Dryades on one of London's priciest streets, is set to be knocked down to make way for a replacement. — Courtesy Daily Mail
Dryades on one of London's priciest streets, is set to be knocked down to make way for a replacement. — Courtesy Daily Mail
Senator Waqar Ahmed Khan. — Courtesy Daily Mail.
Senator Waqar Ahmed Khan. — Courtesy Daily Mail.

LONDON: A mansion on a super-expensive street nicknamed ‘Billionaire’s row’ has become the UK’s most valuable repossession after going on the market for £30 million.

The house, named Dryades, is located in the centre of The Bishops Avenue, a leafy street in northern London.

But the property, owned by a Pakistani political dynasty, has been seized by Deutsche Bank after a lengthy High Court battle, a report in Daily Mail’s online edition said. The 8,000 square-foot home has now been put on the market by the bank for a staggering £30m, but plans are already in motion to knock the existing house down and replace it with a giant new home.

Planning permission has been granted by Barnet Council for a 46,000square-foot replacement, which could more than triple the present value of the property.

The proposed home would boast 21 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms and 12 reception rooms when completed.

It will also have an acre and a half of gardens, despite being minutes from the busiest parts of London.

The replacement for Dryades will have a staggering 63-metre frontage, and plans are in place for staff quarters, an orangery and a huge centrally-positioned staircase which is reached by walking through a grand vestibule.

Other facilities will include an underground level containing a car park, swimming pool, sauna, gym, steam room, billiards room, cinema, bar and bowling alley.

Its value could approach £100m mark when completed - making it one of Britain’s most valuable new residences.

The property was bought for around £12m in 2005 by the family of Pakistan’s former privatisation minister Senator Waqar Ahmed Khan as they looked to invest in the London property market.

In 2007 it was used to secure a £50m loan with Deutsche Bank, but a lengthy ‘debt and possession’ dispute between both parties resulted in the family losing the home earlier this year.

The receivers, Eddisons, has appointed the Knight Frank estate agency to sell Dryades, with the property advertised for £29.5m. It is currently boarded up and its gardens are unkempt.

Grant Alexson, head of Knight Frank’s Hampstead office, called Dryades ‘an exceptional opportunity’.

He said: “The house, which is currently quite modest, is set in 1.5acres of prime land on The Bishops Avenue.

“The value is in the planning permission. A piece of land like this is worth a lot more if you can build on it.

“It would be the largest home on The Bishops Avenue and one of the largest new homes in the UK.“It is an exceptional opportunity to buy one of the finest pieces of land on The Bishops Avenue and it is likely to appeal to an international client.

“It has just come onto the market and there is already a lot of interest.”