And lawyers will already be planning to find loopholes! In fact, one has already been “designed in” – any big home currently split into flats will be allowed to return to one dwelling. Watch the oligarchs use that one!
But, imagine if EDDC (or even Greater Exeter) had a new development plan to build only houses put up for sale at no more than 5 times the average annual local salary …..!
“Westminster city council is to ban new “super-size properties” built for oligarchs and other members of the global ultra-rich elite in order to free up space for more affordable homes.
The council, which includes Mayfair, Knightsbridge and Belgravia, said it would restrict new homes larger than 150 sq metres (1,615sq ft) because “Westminster’s position in the global housing market can create demand for super-size properties which underoptimise development of Westminster’s scarce land resource”.
Westminster said banning “Monopoly board-style” homes would help free up more space for affordable homes for Londoners. The new size ban is part of Westminster’s 2019-40 development plan released on Monday night, which also included a commitment to build more than 10,000 affordable units by 2040.
The council said 150 sq metres was 50% larger than the average private home in the borough and would “still enable generously sized homes to be developed to meet development from the prime market, but balances that against the other, more strategic housing need of the city”.
The size of the average home in the UK has been shrinking in recent years. Homes from the most recent decade have about 67.8 square metres of living space, according to LABC Warranty, which is not much more than both decks of a London bus, at 55 sq metres. The figure factors in living areas, kitchens and bathrooms, but does not include hallways or staircases.
The mega-mansion ban is the latest move in Westminster’s efforts to tackle growing inequality in the borough, where very few people can afford to buy or rent a home on the open market.
Earlier this year the council blocked a plan to create a 1,580 sq metre £40m home in Grade I-listed terrace overlooking Regent’s Park, telling the developer to “wake up” to the housing crisis. “Our city’s golden postcodes must not be used for Monopoly board-style investments to cater only for oligarchs and the most wealthy,” councillor Richard Beddoe, Westminster’s chairman of planning, said.
He wrote in the city plan: “As we set out to create our city of the future, there is one question that should be at the forefront of our minds in every development we undertake: Will this be an asset to people’s lives?”.
The proposals are subject to six weeks’ consultation. The ban would not apply to homes that had been split up into flats and were being converted back into a single family house.
Westminster has already introduced tight restrictions on homeowners digging large basements to create so-called “iceberg homes” with several underground storeys used for gyms, cinemas, swimming pools and car garages. …”