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‘Monopoly board’ homes are thrown out

Planners turn down super mansions for Nash terrace

02 February, 2018 — By Tom Foot

The developer’s vision for York Terrace East

A DEVELOPER aiming to create a terrace of super mansions – with homes “nine times bigger than the normal six-bedroom house” – has been ordered back to the drawing board.

Westbourne Capital Partners had applied to Westminster Council to create a row of 13 four-, five- and six-bedroom town houses in York Terrace East, overlooking Regent’s Park.

But the council’s planning committee told the developer the homes were “overly large” and there should be affordable housing on the site.

Westminster Council chairman of planning Cllr Richard Beddoe said: “Developers need to wake up before bringing forward schemes which don’t make the most of the space available.

“Our city’s golden postcodes must not be used for Monopoly board-style investments to cater only for oligarchs and the most wealthy.

“The council is committed to creating more homes in the city and we have been clear that if you build in Westminster, you must build affordable. These luxury town houses do not offer any benefit to our local community.”

Westbourne Capital Partners acquired a long lease to 1-18 York Terrace East, fronting Regent’s Park, from The Crown Estate for around £200m.

The new owner has suggested building 44 new “affordable homes” in Chesterfield Lodge in St John’s Wood while also paying £7.6million to the council’s affordable housing fund.

The council has for many years operated a system where developers are allowed to make contributions to the council to get out of its affordable housing commitments.

However, the council’s new leader Nickie Aiken has suggested this will not be acceptable under her watch.

The council’s fund is supposed to be used by the council to build affordable housing schemes in Westminster. The system has typically seen a dearth of new social rent homes built in central London and affluent areas.

Westbourne’s scheme would have seen the removal and replacement of roofs and basements dug beneath the block and gardens, but with the historic façades maintained.

It said: “Westbourne are seeking to redevelop the entirety of Grade I Nash listed terrace overlooking Regent’s Park from its current run-down state into a high quality residential offering.”

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