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£40m mansion home left to rot for 33 years by friend of Robert Mugabe remains dilapidated

A £40 million mansion home left to rot for 33 years by a friend of Robert Mugabe remains dilapidated two years after he slammed ‘peasants’ who complained about its condition.

The Hamilton Palace property and grounds is set amidst rows of lush trees and resplendent greenery, and but has been dubbed the Ghost House of Sussex by disgruntled locals.

Notorious slum landlord Nicholas van Hoogstraten – who is a personal friend of ex-Zimbabwean despot Robert Mugabe – has been building the £40 million palace, replete with golden-domed mausoleum, near Uckfield in East Sussex, since 1985.

Locals have continually vented their anger at the incomplete and rotting property, despite the works starting more than 30 years ago.

When they complained the businessman had left it to rot two years ago Hoogstraten said: ‘Even the most moronic of peasants would be able to see… that we have been busy landscaping the grounds of the Palace so as to prepare for scheduled works.’

But images and aerial footage secured by MailOnline show the spectacular pad is still in a dire state, with the enormous property covered in scaffolding and the grounds unkempt and messy, with containers littering the back lawn.

Nicholas Van Hoogstraten purchased the property near Uckfield, East Sussex, in 1985. Hoogstraten who is a personal friend of ex-Zimbabwean despot Robert Mugabe – has been building the £40 million palace, replete with golden-domed mausoleum, near Uckfield in East Sussex, since 1985. The main palace is still covered in scaffolding and the grounds are disheveled 

A second building close to the water is also still under construction and clearly still has scaffolding on it. After anger from locals the property magnate previously dismissed criticism that the building was falling into disrepair and said it would last for thousand of years

A second building close to the water is also still under construction and clearly still has scaffolding on it. After anger from locals the property magnate previously dismissed criticism that the building was falling into disrepair and said it would last for thousand of years

An entry point into the estate with gates and barbed wire. Hoogstraten made his fortune as a slum landlord in Britain but is better known for his court case regarding the gruesome gangland slaying of a business rival, who was stabbed five times before being shot in the head

An entry point into the estate with gates and barbed wire. Hoogstraten made his fortune as a slum landlord in Britain but is better known for his court case regarding the gruesome gangland slaying of a business rival, who was stabbed five times before being shot in the head

Nicholas Van Hoogstraten (pictured) owns the spectacular Palace property and grounds, set amidst rows of lush trees and resplendent greenery, which has been dubbed the Ghost House of Sussex

Nicholas Van Hoogstraten (pictured) owns the spectacular Palace property and grounds, set amidst rows of lush trees and resplendent greenery, which has been dubbed the Ghost House of Sussex

It has been two years since the last images were taken of the property and very little seems to have changed, with builders nowhere in sight.

Scaffolding still adorns the main building, and smaller side builder near the lake and the main grounds look uncared for. 

The property magnate previously dismissed criticism that the building was falling into disrepair and said it would last for thousand of years.

‘Hamilton Palace is far from ‘crumbling’ and was built to last for at least 2,000 years. The scaffolding only remains as a part of ongoing routine maintenance such a property would require until completion,’ he claimed.

The mansion features a vast open field as its front lawn, while a second building is partially constructed on the nearby body of water. Once described by a judge as a 'self-imagined devil who thinks he is an emissary of Beelzebub', Hoogstraten was born in Bognor in 1946 and as an 11-year-old schoolboy started selling stamps to noted collectors

The mansion features a vast open field as its front lawn, while a second building is partially constructed on the nearby body of water. Once described by a judge as a ‘self-imagined devil who thinks he is an emissary of Beelzebub’, Hoogstraten was born in Bognor in 1946 and as an 11-year-old schoolboy started selling stamps to noted collectors

Hoogstraten also previously ruled out letting the building be used to house the local homeless community.

He said: ‘The ‘homeless’ – the majority of whom are so by their own volition or sheer laziness – are one of the filthiest burdens on the public purse today.

‘The chance of my offering an opportunity for them to occupy Hamilton Palace is just ludicrous.

‘Likewise, my offering accommodation to these Muslim ‘migrants’ and to encourage their besiegement of our country and the unwarranted plundering of its resources is ridiculous. We should remove them all.’

Hoogstraten made his fortune as a slum landlord in Britain but is better known for his court case regarding the gruesome gangland slaying of a business rival, who was stabbed five times before being shot in the head. 

Van Hoogstraten was exonerated of any blame in the killing.

The large palace looks far from completed and is covered with scaffolding. It is not clear if anybody is currently residing in the large property. At the back of the estate the area looks cluttered and patches of what looks like dead grass is on the expansive front lawn

The large palace looks far from completed and is covered with scaffolding. It is not clear if anybody is currently residing in the large property. At the back of the estate the area looks cluttered and patches of what looks like dead grass is on the expansive front lawn

Once described by a judge as a ‘self-imagined devil who thinks he is an emissary of Beelzebub’, Hoogstraten was born in Bognor in 1946 and as an 11-year-old schoolboy started selling stamps to noted collectors.

It later transpired that the young Hoogstraten, who claimed to have a stamp collection worth £30,000, had hired classmates to steal the stamps for him from specialist shops.

By the time he was 14, he had taken to wearing a suit to school and would excuse himself from lessons to sit in an empty classroom, where he would read the Financial Times and attend to business deals.

As a teenager, he started a loan-shark business that saw him take property deeds as collateral for loans. He also ran nightclubs in Brighton and once called Rod Stewart, the rock star, a greedy ‘little runt’ in a row over takings.

He also picked up a conviction for organising a henchman to throw a grenade at a priest, as well as the 2002 conviction for manslaughter for the killing of that business rival. 

The verdict was overturned on appeal, but he was ordered to pay the victim’s family £6 million in a civil case in 2005.

 Construction containers can be seen littered at the back of the lavish property, which is located near Uckfield, in East Sussex

 Construction containers can be seen littered at the back of the lavish property, which is located near Uckfield, in East Sussex

The property is now thought to be owned by Messina Investments, which is run by Mr van Hoogstraten’s four eldest children – Maximilian, 30, Alexander, 28, Britannia, 25, and Louis, 25.

They share the surname Hamilton and were handed control of their father’s investments and companies in 2002 after he began a prison sentence for manslaughter. 

Uckfield Town Council, were contacted about the property and said: ‘Hamilton Palace is a private property, we are therefore unable to comment.’

The aerial footage shows the sheer scale of the estate surrounded by the beautiful Sussex countryside. Uckfield Town Council, were contacted about the property and said: 'Hamilton Palace is a private property, we are therefore unable to comment'

The aerial footage shows the sheer scale of the estate surrounded by the beautiful Sussex countryside. Uckfield Town Council, were contacted about the property and said: ‘Hamilton Palace is a private property, we are therefore unable to comment’

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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