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Posted by editor

8 May 2000 @ 2:00

Most Elton fans will remember he once occupied a lovely bungalow-mansion in Virginia Water, Surrey, called HERCULES.


We’re delighted to exclusively advise that this house is now up for sale. It’s fate could belong to a non-fan purchasing it, or it could even face demolition. The property’s future lies in the hands of anyone with the asking price of £1.495m to spend on a purpose-built, well-maintained dwelling, freehold land and swimming pool/garden.


The property is surrounded by other houses, separated by the usual walls, hedgerows and two gates serving the drive to the front of the 1960s property. It  has a wonderful horse statue in the back garden, towering above the swimming pool.


The fate of the property is not a straight forward matter. Current owner, Robert White, partner in White Development, bought the house six weeks ago from a Jordanian family who had renamed the property more suitably Villa Rayah. The previous owners also decided to take most fixtures and fittings with them.


The one act of sacrilege was to remove the name of “Hercules” from a boulder which stands outside the main entrance. The inscription was chiselled away. Don’t blame him! Mr White maintains this was done before he had bought the property.


However, as photos supplied on the website show, the property itself is in good decorative condition, and all white appliances and other facilities such as air conditioning certainly worked when George Matlock paid a visit to the premises on May 7, 2000. The fitted Kitchen has been recently modernised and is easterly facing.


Viewing this property shows that marble is also much in evidence on the ground floor, and two elegant Roman pillars support the reception hall area.


Hercules aka Villa Rayah, spanning 6,300 square feet on land of 0.845 acres, is pencilled for demolition by Mr White, to make way for a larger, more functional property which will utilise the existing land coverage but increase height by a total of 2,000 sq. ft. That’s an increase of 30% of the existing property size.


A new swimming pool is also planned. The property, which Elton sold in 1976 to move into nearby Woodside, boasts 4 bedrooms, two bathrooms and an extension built by the recent owners to facilitate a family room/conservatory – although with less glazing than such extensions typically afford. One of the bathroom showers has room for 5 persons standing! So, doubtless it will be useful to the Watford football squad!


Demolition and re-development will require the consent of municipal authority Runnymede Borough Council – yes the property is situated in the famous area where in 1216 King John signed the Magna Carta, the bedrock of the English constitution. It is also near the Mecca of English golf sport: Wentworth.


The Council is due to meet in committee in late May/early June to consider the application for demolition and to hear local residents’ views. Mr White maintains, in a brief interview with George Matlock, that the property specifications do meet planning requirements, and precedent for material changes has been set – the property to the left is currently undergoing extensive work. Mr White explained that he has already satisfactorily worked on four properties in the area.


However, there are also two bids for the estate which may save the property from any substantial change. We do not wish to make any extensive description of those offers, nor prejudice the council meeting. However, in order for you to make a rational decision on whether or not to volunteer a serious offer for the estate, we must advise that both offers already made are serious, and amount to close to the asking price of £1.495m. The property is being marketed by estate agents Chancellors. Mr White has kindly agreed to leave the offer open to others after Hercules’ intervention.


Apparently, both potential purchasers have advised Mr White they are willing to increase their offers, but Mr White is also willing to take serious offers from other parties.


The buyer, we hope, would be an Elton John fan. We have also advised Elton’s management of the sale opportunity. However, even someone known to a real fan who may learn of this sale through us would be welcome. Our only intention is to provide fans with an opportunity to preserve the property if a buyer can be found speedily.


We’re not acting as an agent in this sale and derive no financial gain. We merely bring this information to your attention as a public service.


SERIOUS OFFERS only please, should be sent in confidence to Robert White, White Developments, 33 Hillsborough Park, Camberley, Surrey, GU15 1HG, United Kingdom. Tel. +44 1276 683410.


We cannot receive any offers. White Developments must receive directly detailed bids by 16 June, 2000, and initial offers should preferably be lodged before then. All other enquiries to White Developments.


We would like to thank Mr White for his assistance in access to the property, and wish all parties an amicable resolution.

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