NICHOLAS van Hoogstraten has branded homeless people a "filthy burden".

The notorious property tycoon also labelled his neighbours "moronic peasants" for objections to his £40 million palace.

The Argus revealed last week that Uckfield residents had become concerned over the 71-year-old slum landlord's palace - known Temple of Doom - was lying empty and unfinished after more than 30 years, but now Mr van Hoogstraten has hit back.

He said: “Even the most moronic of peasants would be able to see from the pictures that we have been busy landscaping the grounds of the palace.”

There had been calls for Mr van Hoogstraten to open up the Hamilton Palace estate near Framfield on the outskirts of Uckfield to the homeless or migrants, but judging by his response, it seems unlikely he’ll be throwing the gates open.

In an interview with the Sunday Mirror Mr van Hoogstraten said: “The homeless, the majority of whom are so by their own volition or sheer laziness, are one of the filthiest burdens on the public purse today.

“The chance of my offering an opportunity for them to occupy Hamilton Palace is just ludicrous.

“Likewise, my offering accommodation to these Muslim migrants and to encourage their besiegement of our country and the unwarranted plundering of its resources is ridiculous.

“We should remove them all.”

There had been widespread talk that the palace was falling into disrepair and a Wealden District Council spokesman told The Argus the local authority had no plans to intervene as planning permission is still in place.

Richard Hodge, whose house is behind the Hamilton estate, said: “There’s been scaffolding up for years but I haven’t seen any work being done.

“But there have been people working on site every now and again.

“I’ve no idea if it’ll ever be finished. It’s crazy.”

But Mr van Hoogstraten denied claims the mansion was going to ruin.

He said: “Hamilton Palace is far from crumbling and was built to last for at least 2,000 years.

"The scaffolding only remains as a part of ongoing routine maintenance such a property would require until completion.”

However he gave no suggestion of a date for completion.

Building started in 1985, but was halted in the early 2000s while Mr van Hoogstraten was embroiled in court drama over the manslaughter of Mohammed Raja.


THERE are no plans to take any action over Nicholas van Hoogstraten’s abandoned and unoccupied mansion in Uckfield.

Building began on the £40 million Hamilton Palace, near Framfield on the outskirts of Uckfield, in 1985.

It was paused in 2006 after Mr van Hoogstraten was forced by a court to make a large payout following a £6 million civil lawsuit found him liable for the manslaughter of a business rival.

Speaking to The Argus three years ago, Mr van Hoogstraten said completing Hamilton Palace was not his top priority, with building work at properties in Hove coming first.

He has now said that work is ongoing on the so-called Temple of Doom – including landscaping of the grounds – but gave no indication of when the project might be completed. 

A spokesman for Wealden District Council told The Argus: “Planning permission is in place and building regulations for the property are satisfied.

“We have received no complaints from residents, as it stands, regarding dangers or other issues concerning the property.”

He added that Wealden District Council had no plans to intervene in the process at the moment, meaning the building could potentially fall into disrepair.

Residents in Framfield refused to be drawn on their feelings over the construction project and referred to the building’s notorious owner.

Jordan Brennan, 18, said he and his friends steered clear of the site and added: “I’ve never tried to trespass there, I know whose house that is.”