As we reported earlier, Goga Ashkenazi – the mutual friend of Prince Andrew and Timur Kulibayev – said today that the Kazakh billionaire bought the prince’s £15m former home to convert it into a “charitable school”. The first step was to get planning permission, she said.
Sunninghill was never bought for personal use. The plan, as I understand it, is to convert it into a charitable school for bright Kazakh children who can come here to do their A-levels and then try for the top British universities. The first step is to get planning permission.
For now, however, the local council (Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead) has no record of any such attempt. Instead the last revelant planning application for the building was seven years ago to turn some stables into residential use.
I’m told by an acquaintance of Kulibayev that the “charitable school” idea had been kicked around but “it’s nothing further than a thought at the moment“. I’ll update later if I get a formal response.
So the question remains: why did Kulibayev buy it?