The sale of Richard Branson's Son Bunyola estate in Banyalbufar could become one of the largest private property deals ever in Majorca. The Virgin tycoon wanted to develop the site, which features a beautiful old “palace” in the centre of the property, in to a world famous hotel with the main building linked to as many as 40 traditional-style villas by horse a cart along a maze of tracks through the olive and fruit trees and the undulating countryside. But it appears that after five years of planning battles with the local authorities and the environmentalists, Branson has decided to take his expertise and golden touch elsewhere. The sale is being handled by Kensington Properties Equity Savills of London, in Palma, and the estate is now “officially” on the international market. Interest from private buyers across the world has been spectacular. There is commercial interest from parties toying with the idea of continuing the battle over planning permission and licences to finally develop the property in to a hotel, but for the moment, it appears that Son Bunyola will become a private residence. There are few other properties like Son Bunyola anywhere in the Mediterranean. The property, which covers an area of around three million square metres and boasts two bays with ample depth of water for super yachts to moor up, includes two luxury villas which have only recently been completed. Both villas have five to six bedrooms and their own private swimming pools. Sarah Ferguson and the Princesses stayed in one last summer while Sir Richard and the family holidayed in the other. There is also an old ruin which has masses of potential and could be restored in to a three to four bedroomed property. But the estate's centrepiece is the old palace. Apart from maintenance work, little has been done to the main building since Branson bought the estate for $5 million nearly ten years ago, so the new owner will have a free hand to make the maximum use of the wonderful potential the building offers.

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