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Close friend of sanctioned Roman Abramovich aims to turn Kensington hotel into flats – South London News

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By Hannah Neary, Local Democracy Reporter

Roman Abramovich’s “right hand man” wants to turn an old Kensington hotel into luxury flats.

Russian billionaire David Davidovich is seeking planning permission to convert neighbouring buildings in one of London’s priciest postcodes into seven apartments.

The development site consists of two five-storey crumbling Victorian mansions near Kensington Palace – number 18 and 19 Prince Of Wales Terrace – which have been empty since 2015.

Number 18 is already a residential property, and 19 was formerly the Clearlake Hotel.

A planning report said both buildings are “severely dilapidated” inside and out with no working electricity and water leaking through the roof.

Mr Davidovich, dubbed Mr Abramovich’s “right-hand man” by Forbes, is not on any sanctions list.

Kensington and Chelsea council rejected Mr Davidovich’s plans to turn the buildings into a mega mansion in 2020 amid concerns about the loss of hotel accommodation and quality of the plans.

The local authority is trying to restrict multi-millionaires joining properties to make mega mansions by introducing new planning rules.

Singer Adele reportedly bought two homes next to each other in Kensington last summer and combined them to make her dream home.

Mr Davidovich hopes to restore the buildings to their former glory by redoing the interiors and digging a basement below for extra storage.

Pictured top: The former Clearlake Hotel in Prince of Wales Terrace

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