Millionaire Scots businessman blocked from building swimming pool and bar at luxury home

A MILLIONAIRE businessman has been blocked from building a swimming pool and bar at one of Scotland’s most expensive homes.

Wednesday, 3rd April 2019, 6:54 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th April 2019, 11:43 am

Sundeep Tuli wanted to erect an extension to his baronial mansion in Edinburgh which would also have included a four car garage with a games room and gym above it.

He bought Hillwood House for just under £3.7 million in 2015. At the time it was the most expensive private home sold in Scotland since the 2008 financial crash.

He runs the Jean Scene fashion retailer along with his brother Raju. The pair also have a string of franchises for KFC and Costa Coffee.

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Sunny Tuli (left) and brother Raju at their Jean Scene store in Livingston.

Mr Tuli, 47, submitted plans to Edinburgh City Council for the renovation works at the side and rear of the 147-year-old building.

The proposed indoor swimming pool would been 24.5 metres (80ft) in length and was to be built along with a Jacuzzi, sauna, bar and kitchen.

No objections were submitted to the scheme but planners at the local authority have refused to grant permission, saying the proposed work would damage the character of the C-listed property.

In a written report, they said: “The proposed scale of the extension would form an incongruous addition, dominating the front elevation and approach to the listed building.

A view of the Hillwood House Estate in Edinburgh

“The original building is relatively compact in design, contrasting with the proposed wraparound extension.

“The building has been designed in the round and has a distinctive character from all elevations.

“The proposed extension is not of an appropriate scale, form or design and would have a detrimental impact on the character and setting of the listed building. There are no material considerations which outweigh this conclusion.”

Hillwood House, which dates back to 1872, sits within about seven acres of established gardens and woodland overlooking the western slopes of Corstorphine Hill.

It was once home to the MacKinnon family who owned the Drambuie liqueur company for more than 100 years.

The three-storey property was used as the headquarters of Drambuie for a number of years before being converted back to a private residence 13 years ago.

It has nearly 14,000 sq ft of living space, at least seven bedrooms and a tennis court.

A statement submitted to the council by Mr Tuli’s planning agent said: “The applicant is showing a commitment to the property which will be significant, sympathetic and will approve the area immediately surrounding the existing house.

“The proposals appear in keeping with the style, materials and massing of the existing house.

“They show a deference to the existing house, create an appealing contribution to the property’s setting, and show in the design a logical evolution of the property, whilst providing the ancillary accommodation that a house of this scale would have had in the past.”

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