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Oligarchs and royalty who keep homes empty near Grenfell

Only a dozen families who lived in Grenfell Tower have been re-accommodated

Only a dozen families who lived in Grenfell Tower have been re-accommodated

Tycoons, foreign royalty and oligarchs are leaving properties empty in the borough where the Grenfell Tower fire left scores homeless.

Owners of the 1,652 unoccupied homes in Kensington and Chelsea include former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who bought a seven-bedroom grade II-listed house for £16million in 2015.

Other properties in the West London borough are owned by a Ukrainian billionaire fighting extradition to the US, a former BBC and ITV executive and a luxury property developer.

Included in the list is the former Brompton Road Tube station, which was once used as a top secret command centre for Winston Churchill.

But it has been left vacant since it was bought for £53million by Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash in 2014.

The names of the high-profile owners of the empty properties were revealed when the council sent a list to recipients including The Guardian newspaper, apparently accidentally. 

The document includes council tax details for the vacant homes and their 1,197 owners.

It comes after Jeremy Corbyn and senior Labour MPs called for homes in Kensington and Chelsea left empty by overseas investors to be ‘requisitioned’ for victims of the fire.

Only a dozen families who lived in Grenfell Tower have been re-accommodated. Many are still left in temporary housing.

The day after the disaster Mr Corbyn said: ‘The south part of Kensington is incredibly wealthy, it’s the wealthiest part of the whole country.

‘The ward where this fire took place is, I think, the poorest ward in the whole country and properties must be found, requisitioned if necessary, to make sure those residents do get rehoused locally.’

Some of the luxury properties revealed to be empty are only a few hundred yards from where at least 80 people died in the Grenfell Tower inferno in June.

Peter Fincham, former director of ITV and controller of BBC1, owns an empty £6million vacant property. He said it was ‘in the process of being transferred to a new owner’.

One of the vacant properties is Brompton Road Tube station which has been empty since it was bought for £53million by Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash (pictured) in 2014

One of the vacant properties is Brompton Road Tube station which has been empty since it was bought for £53million by Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash (pictured) in 2014

Some were purchased by offshore companies, including Dukes Lodge London Ltd, part of billionaire property developer Christian Candy’s empire. The firm owns 26 homes in a £85million

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