Westminster council rejects Qatari royal family’s plans for £200m palace & the offer of £850K contribution to council coffers
Has this country gone mad?
Westminster council rejects Qatari royal family’s plans for £200m palace. The application was for permission to convert two Grade 1 listed buildings in Regents Park into one lavish home but was refused by a Planning Officer because “Your development would lead to the loss of a housing unit which would not meet S14 of Westminster’s City Plan: Strategic Policies adopted November 2013.”
He added: “Negotiation could not overcome the reasons for refusal.” The Qatari family had offered £850,000 to the council to help to build affordable homes because this amount would only buy a two bedroomed flat in that area!!!! Who is ever going to convert these buildings into affordable homes? £850,000 is a big contribution towards building more homes why would a council use that amount to buy an existing property.
In 2013 Westminster’s opposition Labour group has released figures showing the authority is spending £85,000 a week housing families in 10 west end hotels. At that time the Conservative-led council was in talks with developer R55 to buy a plot of land called Devon Wharf in Poplar, east London.
The site, owned by Chilton Transport, had planning permission for 66 homes, including 50 for private sale, 10 for social rent and six for intermediate rent. Under the plan, Westminster would use the homes as temporary accommodation. They planned to sell the Moxon Street car park site in Marylebone for a 190,000 sq ft luxury housing development and move residents out of Westminster rather than building affordable homes on the Moxon Street site themselves.
What is happening with the Qatari family Planning refusal makes no sense and smack of closing the door after the horse has bolted. We discussed: Only the very rich and the very poor can afford to live in London 50% more Londoners leaving the capital London families at the mercy of international speculators – as US owners evict them from affordable homes at Christmas We can reform London’s rental sector without demonising landlords