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Westminster council to ban supersize homes to make room for more affordable housing

Westminster City Council is to ban new supersized properties to free up space to build more affordable homes for “real people” as it sets out its 2040 vision for housing.

The council said it would restrict new-build homes that exceed 1,615 sq ft, a size 50% bigger than the average size of the borough, amidst growing concerns over affordability and oligarchs and global elites building “monopoly board-style” homes.

This will provide more space for affordable homes for Londoners as the city council sets out its ambition to build 1,495 new homes every year with six in every 10 made for middle-income families.

This is 50% higher than required in Sadiq Khan’s ‘London Plan’ to build 10,000 new affordable council homes in the capital.

The council cabinet member for planning and public realm Richard Beddoe said: “We’re proud that one in four of our homes are social housing, but as a city for all we’re determined to create homes for our residents, especially average earners and middle-income families.

“We’ve laid down the gauntlet for developers by introducing less restrictive rules. Now they need to do their bit and provide the homes for the working families who keep our city moving.

“Providing social housing remains a priority, but the lack of intermediate homes must be addressed.”

Westminster City Council says the change in emphasis will ensure the council provides homes for a cross section of the community, not simply the richest and poorest.

Earlier this year, the council blocked a proposal to create a 1,580 sq ft, 340m home in a Grade I listed terrace overlooking Regent’s Park, saying the developer needed to “wake-up” to the housing crisis.

The council is now consulting on its draft City Plan which sets out a blueprint for how Westminster will enter the next few decades in a strong and competitive position.

In September, the city council announced it would bring its ALMO housing scheme back under the authority’s control after a number of concerns were raised by residents.

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Image credit - Stewart Marsden


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