Russian billionaire and football club owner Roman Abramovich submits plans for opulent £150m Knightsbridge home

Roman Abramovich, billionaire owner of Chelsea football club, plans to redevelop part of a Knightsbridge square into an £150m home for himself - creating the most expensive private residence in the UK.

Abramovich, whose £11.7bn fortune makes him Britain's third-richest man, according to the Sunday Times' Rich List, has been buying up adjoining properties in Lowndes Square since first acquiring an apartment there in the late 1990s.

Having bought all the nine flats comprising two of the square's townhouses, and acquired the freeholds for £1.8m last September, the Russian emigrant has applied for planning approval to convert them into a single eight-bedroom, eight-storey residence.

While the appearance of the exterior will be maintained, Abramovich's plans for the interior are said to be opulent in style, featuring a swimming pool and steam room, home cinema and entertainment room.

“He wants a very plush interior in the style of high neoclassical Victoriana to match the exterior … there will be nothing minimalist about his taste,” a source familiar with the plans told the Mail on Sunday newspaper.

Assuming that Kensington and Chelsea council gives planning approval, estate agents estimate that the completed home will be worth £150m. This is almost double the £80m value of the UK's present most-expensive private home, a 10-bedroom Victorian villa in west London, which took the record in March from Indian steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal's £67m London residence.