Wednesday 13 June 2018

Millionaire couple in court battle with developers after their Grand Designs-style 'bespoke dream home' went £3MILLION over budget

Two millionaire couples are at war in court over a self-built 'dream home' that turned into a £5million 'disaster' in an exclusive neighbourhood home to the likes of Kate Moss and Jude Law.

Stuart, 62, and Naomi Russell, 58, say they had planned to spend around £2million building 'a bespoke, curved, custom built, high-end property' in Highgate, North London, which would have 'everything we wanted'.

The couple hoped their luxurious new home would be finished in less than a year - but a series of 'disputes' and walkouts involving contractors brought 'disarray' and 'disaster' to their grand scheme.

It eventually took the couple ten years and cost them £5million to build a four-bedroom house on the secluded road alongside Hampstead Heath - which was an 'overspend' of £3million on their original budget.

The Russells claim most of the blame for the debacle falls on husband and wife project manager and quantity surveyor 'team', Peter and Linda Stone, both 61, who advised them on the build between 2008 and 2012.

Businessman Mr Russell, 62, who is a director at more than 20 property and finance companies in London, says the other couple's 'failures' and lack of foresight 'caused them to spend significantly more on their property.'

But the Stones insist the Russells wasted money and caused delays by dithering and agonising too much over choosing their interior details, including door handles, toilet roll holders, 'sanitary wear' and ironmongery.

However, Mr Russell claims the time he and his wife took reaching decisions on their interiors was justified by the unique and 'complex' nature of their new home, telling Mrs Justice Jefford: 'This is not some Barratt home.' 

London's High Court heard that the Russells' detached home is 'covering three stories with four bedrooms and a swimming pool on the lower ground floor, together with substantial landscaped grounds to the front and back.'

The road on which the house was built is one of London's most desirable streets, retaining a rare 'country lane' feel despite being 30 minutes from the heart of the city, and is a magnet for ambitious multi-million-pound self-builds.

The Russells bought a house on the street for £3.65million in August 2006 and demolished it to make way for their dream home in 2010. Their new home is estimated by Zoopla to be now worth £8million.


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