Richard Branson’s Luxury Aussy Island Retreat
Ultra rich, billionaire Virgin Airline boss Richard Branson is moving ahead with building a luxury Australian island retreat for his Virgin airline staff despite protests from local environmentalists.
Plans for the $4 million (Australian dollars) nine-hectare estate at Noosa, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, have already been scaled back from those first outlined by the British tycoon.
Last week, bulldozers and builders were working on the redevelopment on heart-shaped Makepeace Island in the middle of the Noosa River.
But environmentalists were still concerned about the removal of trees and the 85-year-old timber Queenslander house on the island.
Sir Richard bought the island for $2.86 million in May 2003 and now owns it in partnership with Virgin Blue Airlines managing director Brett Godfrey. The idea was to turn it into a Balinese-style retreat for the owners’ families and for use by Virgin staff.
In style, it mimics Necker Island, Sir Richard’s private Caribbean island.
On Makepeace, there will be three villas attached to the revamped timber house, a lagoon pool in landscaped gardens, tennis court and two-storey kitchen. All the buildings will be on stilts to deal with flooding.