Former Dior supermodel who won £30million ‘break up fee’…

Former Dior supermodel who won £30million ‘break up fee’…

A former Dior catwalk supermodel who won an almost £30million ‘break up fee’ after splitting from a billionaire fraudster boyfriend has bid to build a glamping paradise in the British countryside. 

In 2020 Mandy Lieu, 38, bought 925-acre Ewhurst Park in Hampshire, once owned by the Duke of Wellington, and vowed to turn it into a world-class organic farm and nature reserve.

In January last year she introduced a pair of beavers into a lake near her mansion.

In August, Ewhurst was also granted permission to build nine holiday lets and a café on the estate’s grounds. 

And now she has submitted plans to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council for a luxury glamping site with ten luxury tents, two communal tents and two storage containers.

The tents are ‘safari’ style, each with their own self-catering facilities, parking spot and hot tub.

Mandy Lieu, 37, bought the 925-acre Ewhurst Park estate in 2020 for a reported £28million 

The model turned actress turned eco-warrior vowed to turn the estate into a world-class organic farm and nature reserve.

The model turned actress turned eco-warrior vowed to turn the estate into a world-class organic farm and nature reserve.

Ms Lieu planting the first tree for the first forest garden at Ewhurst Park. The model has now been given the green light to build new holiday lets on the country site

Ms Lieu planting the first tree for the first forest garden at Ewhurst Park. The model has now been given the green light to build new holiday lets on the country site 

In 2020 Mandy Lieu, 38, bought 925-acre Ewhurst Park in Hampshire - a view of the main house overlooking the gardens

In 2020 Mandy Lieu, 38, bought 925-acre Ewhurst Park in Hampshire – a view of the main house overlooking the gardens

Her plans state ‘It will allow future users to learn about the natural environment around them as well as participate in activities such as yoga, massage, mindfulness, pond dipping and nature trails.’

The proposed site, currently used for cattle grazing, covers 2.3 acres and is located to the west of Ewhurst Pond where the beavers are active, so pod-renters cooking breakfast can watch them.

Since buying Ewhurst in 2020, Ms Lieu has spearheaded an estate-wide biodiversity project which aims to regenerate landscape, reduce habitat loss and protect native species.

As part of this project, she introduced two beavers into a special enclosure on the estate in January last year, the first time the animals have been present in Hampshire in more than 400 years.

Last August, she won permission to build nine holiday lets and a café on the grounds.

She said last year ‘I hope to open Ewhurst to invite as many people as possible to come on this journey with me.

‘I grew up in south-east Asia and was taught in my earliest years to respect food and the land that it comes from.

‘Now, I am able to put my passion into practice in the UK.’

Plans of the creation of holiday home lets, as seen on Basingstoke Council planning portal

Plans of the creation of holiday home lets, as seen on Basingstoke Council planning portal 

An example of one of the properties set to be built on the estate

An example of one of the properties set to be built on the estate 

Despite not being well known in the UK, she is one of Asia’s biggest stars – she has fronted campaigns for Dior, graced the catwalks of Tokyo, been appointed as the face of luxury brands such as Miu Miu, Omega and Marc Jacobs, and enjoyed a lucrative career as a TV presenter and actress.

She reportedly paid £28 million for the estate after receiving a £29.7 million ‘break-up fee’ when she severed ties with Macau tycoon Alvin Chau, who has an estimated $2 billion fortune.

Chau, 49, made his fortune as chairman of Suncity Group which runs VIP gaming tables across Asia. He also founded an empire of overseas property and resort projects.

The former couple share four children. The Al Jazeera news site reported in January 2023 that he had been sentenced to 18 years in prison for running an illegal gambling empire.

After leaving the estate largely untouched for the first year after her 2020 purchase to establish baselines of what was there, Ms Lieu set about turning it into ‘a mosaic of habitats that provides food for humans and wildlife at the same time’.

While relatively unknown in the UK, the model is one of Asia's biggest stars, fronting campaigns for Dior and strutting the catwalks in Tokyo

While relatively unknown in the UK, the model is one of Asia’s biggest stars, fronting campaigns for Dior and strutting the catwalks in Tokyo

In January her former partner Alvin Chau was jailed for 18 years

In January her former partner Alvin Chau was jailed for 18 years

The estate now boasts fields of barley, cover crops – to start improving the soil – restored grassland and wetlands, cattle and pigs.

In January 2023 she announced the arrival of a pair of beavers – a male and female captured in Scotland’s Tay Valley where there is now a healthy wild population.

They were transported down to Ewhurst Park by the Beaver Trust and released in a licensed seven-acre enclosure, to breed and start a colony.

Before her purchase, Ewhurst Estate was most recently sold in 2007 to American-born Michael Cohen, the former European head of the hedge fund Och-Ziff, who reportedly bought it for £12 million as a country pit-stop while overseeing deals from his London office.

A general view of the sprawling 925-acre Ewhurst Park, which once belonged to the Duke of Wellington

A general view of the sprawling 925-acre Ewhurst Park, which once belonged to the Duke of Wellington

He invested significant funds in the residence, building a large country house on the land, renovating its listed buildings and landscaping its expansive 18th century grounds.

Dr Roisin Campbell-Palmer, the Beaver Trust’s head of restoration, said ‘We’re really pleased to see another county providing a home for beavers as part of the species’ restoration efforts across Britain.

‘We are working towards their continued return to the wild, with appropriate licensing and management frameworks, but in the meantime enclosures such as the one here at Ewhurst remain an important part of the restoration story.’

from www.dailymail.co.uk Source link

[2024-01-16 07:24:41

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