No more massive homes, says council

A London borough has decided to ban the construction of massive houses, as it bids to save space for smaller, more affordable homes.

As part of its City Plan 2019-2040, Westminster City Council will cap the size of new homes at 150sq metres of living space – plenty, the local authority reckons, to ‘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’.

Clearly weary of enormous homes going up that house perhaps one or two very wealthy people, the council has been struck by the fact that the median house price in the borough is £1,054,400 but the average household income is £52,199, and is thus taking steps to fix things.

Cllr Richard Beddoe is thrilled with the plans, claiming: ‘We want Westminster to be home to thriving, mixed communities, not empty super-prime properties. That’s why we will be restricting the size of new luxury apartments and introducing a new extra bedroom policy to make it easier for families to extend their homes so they have enough space to stay living in Westminster and are not forced to move out.’

On top of all this, the council’s development plan contains a commitment to construct 29,900 homes by 2040 – 35% of which will be ‘affordable’.

Semi-laughably yet quite endearingly, earlier this year Westminster brought in a voluntary wealth tax which it hoped would be put towards easing homelessness in the area. All that was asked of the 15,600 wealthiest households is that they pay double council tax.

Unsurprisingly, only 2% have agreed to stump up the extra £833 a year.

Anyway, here’s a link to the council’s development plan. It’s 175 pages long so perhaps one to save for Christmas Day when everyone’s asleep in the afternoon.

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