Hedge funder Crispin Odey 'builds £130k chicken house'
City financier plans a lavish temple for his pampered poultry with locally quarried sandstone and a British oak frieze
WHILE THE biggest concern for many British families is simply to earn enough money to put dinner on the table and pay the mortgage, hedge funder Crispin Odey is doing his best to prove F Scott Fitzgerald's famous adage that "the very rich, they are different from you and me" - by building a classical temple for his brood of chickens.
According to today's City Diary in The Daily Telegraph, Odey - who also has a pork sausage named after him - has obtained planning permission for a £130,000 Palladian-style chicken house for the pampered poultry at his Grade II-listed home Eastbach Court, Gloucestershire.
The temple, which at 775 sq feet is going to be the size of a modest two-bedroom flat, will boast doors painted in Odey's favourite Hague Blue, and will feature a grey zinc roof topped with a statuette of anthemia, a floral pattern of leaves set out in a radiating cluster.
Odey, who was once fleetingly married to Rupert Murdoch's eldest child Prudence, is sparing no expense on the furnishings for his featherbedded fowl - pillars are being cast from sandstone quarried in the nearby Forest of Dean, while other ornamentation such as the frieze will be carved from stout English oak.
The planning application notes that although "it could be considered that the design and materials are rather grandiose for its purpose of a chicken house, it is nevertheless judged that the building is still modest in size and is in-keeping [sic] with the character and appearance of [Eastbach Court]."
It must have been a good year for Odey Asset Management, the hedge fund formed in 1991 with the help of seed capital from billionaire George Soros, for its 52-year-old founding partner to splash such cash - but with around £5bn of funds under his management it looks as though £130,000 is just chicken feed to Odey.