John Caudwell, the man who made billions from Phones 4U (having sold out well before it collapsed), is raising the bar for millionaire property accessories. While others may be satisfied with boring old traditional trappings like an indoor health spa or cinema, Caudwell is thinking outside the box: and has just been given permission to build a railway around the grounds.
The Stoke Sentinel revealed the plans. The idea is that the 28-acre formal gardens and parkland around his incredible Jacobean mansion are tricky for a billionaire and his family to cover. Once you've expended all your energy in finding one of the 50 bedrooms, using the indoor swimming pool, or running around on the tennis courts, who as the energy to schlep about enjoying the grounds?
So instead, the Express has reported that they'll be able to step onto the train, and travel three miles around the property without moving a muscle.
It's not a terrible way for a billionaire to flaunt his cash. Given that he is worth around $2 billion, and spends an enormous amount of his time and money supporting a number of charities, there's an argument that he has every right to indulge his property-related whims.
Unusual property development of the mega-rich
He's not the first multi-millionaire with some unusual home-improvement ideas either. Home for Donald Trump is the penthouse of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York. Possibly the most ostentatious addition to the property is a gold and diamond-studded door.
Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, meanwhile, built a 27-storey house, which is thought to have cost $1 billion, and qualify as the world's most expensive home. Among the unusual additions to the property are a theatre that seats 50 people, nine elevators, six floors of parking and three helipads.
Russian steel billionaire Alexander Abramov has built an enormous property in New Zealand - complete with several separate homes in lush countryside. He was so keen that his lifestyle wouldn't be interrupted for even a second by a power cut, that he decided to build an on-site power station too.
Meanwhile multi-millionaire Iron Maiden bassist, Steve Harris, opted to build a pub in his £7 million Essex pad, plus a full-sized football pitch (with home and away changing rooms) in case he fancied forming his own pub team.
It all starts to make a railway seem like a fairly modest and understated addition to a property.
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