Britain’s richest man billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe has asked neighbours to help pay for his high-speed broadband connection
- Sir Jim Ratcliffe ordered a road dug up in Thorns Beach, near Beaulieu, Hants
- Ratcliffe asked 10 neighbours by letter to chip in if they wanted to benefit
- He has also annoyed neighbours by having a security guard patrol the area
Britain’s richest man, who is worth a staggering £21 billion, has asked his neighbours to fund a new high-speed internet connection he is having installed at his new mansion.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, 66, ordered a road dug up in Thorns Beach, near Beaulieu, Hants. and sent letters to 10 neighbours asking them to chip in if they wanted to benefit from the connection, according to The Sun.
The billionaire has also reportedly irked neighbours – who include Dire Straits star Mark Knopfler – by having a security guard patrol the area – when he’s not even there.
Team INEOS owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe during a press conference to launch Team INEOS at The Fountaine Free in Linton, Yorkshire. He has asked 10 neighbors to help with a WiFi bill
The trench, costing thousands of pounds, is 1,600 ft in length and will carry fibre optic broadband to the new development which straddles a natural beauty site near Southampton.
One annoyed neighbour told The Sun: ‘He’s a bloody billionaire. If he wants it, why doesn’t he just pay for it?’
It is believed the chemicals tycoon will use the new house as a holiday home. He lives in Monaco.
Among the billionaire’s vetoed plans for the Hants. site was this property (artist’s impression from 2015), which included hi-tech jacks that could raise the home in case of flooding
‘We’ve had bloody security while they were digging. Mr Ratcliffe doesn’t even live here,’ the neighbour added.
‘The trench was dug to put electricity through to the new house. It was supposed to be that he wanted superfast broadband put in, but only if we all paid a contribution.’
Neighbours have also complained that the set up has also made walking access difficult, only able to get passed if workers turned off their machines.
Mr Ratcliffe, who founded chemical company INEOS, flattened this bungalow at the site to start the controversial development at the plot which he has owned since 2005
Planning documents submitted to the New Forest National Park Authority stated that the new development will ‘ultimately benefit the site for many years’
Sir Jim Ratcliffe: The makings of a billionaire
October 1952: Born in a town near Oldham, Lancashire
1974: Graduated from the University of Birmingham with a degree in chemical engineering
1980: Graduated from the London Business School in 1980, and donated £25m to it in 2016
1998: Founded chemicals giant INEOS
May 2018: Named as the richest person in the UK, with a net worth of £21.05 billion
June 2018: Appointed Knight Bachelor in the 2018 Birthday Honours for services to business and to investment
March 2019: Ratcliffe purchased Team Sky cycling franchise, subsequently rebranding it Team Ineos
Mr Ratcliffe, who founded chemical company INEOS, flattened a bungalow at the site to start the controversial development at the plot which he has owned since 2005.
Notable objectors to the plans include Mary Montagu-Scott, daughter of the previous Lord Montagu.
She said in 2017, after Mr Ratcliffe’s fifth planning application to redevelop the site, that Thorns Beach is an ‘unspoilt piece of the New Forest’ – a national park in Hampshire that encompasses the property.
His first application was withdrawn after it received a large number of objections, so Mr Ratcliffe went back to work on new ideas, but he has been repeatedly knocked back by the authority.
Mr Ratcliffe appealed the authority’s decisions on two occasions in 2014 and 2015, but both decisions were upheld by a government-appointed inspector.
Among his vetoed plans were for hi-tech jacks that could raise the home in case of flooding.
The billionaire has also reportedly irked neighbours – who include Dire Straits star Mark Knopfler – by having a security guard patrol the area