Westminster to sell Council land in West End for luxury homes and buy private land in Tower Hamlets for Westminster families in housing need

As Westminster’s housing crisis continues to deepen, Westminster Conservatives are poised to sell the Moxon Street car park site in Marylebone for a 190,000 sq ft luxury housing development, at the same time as the Council is reported to be planning to buy a plot of land called Devon Wharf in Poplar, east London, where it would build 66 flats for temporary accommodation for Westminster families.

According to the Co-Star website on 21st February;

Westminster City Council has compiled a list of five heavyweight investors who are vying for the chance to buy the development site, which could accommodate a 190,000 sq ft, £100m residential scheme. Jones Lang LaSalle and Lambert Smith Hampton were instructed in April 2011 to sell the site, which could house flats that could achieve values of at least £2,000 per sq ft. No guide price was set, but is thought that the car park could fetch around £70m. Westminster Council compulsorily purchased the site from the Howard de Walden Estate in 1966 in order to develop a new school.”


The very next day, ‘Inside Housing’ reported;

“Westminster Council is seeking to build temporary accommodation for its homeless families seven miles away in Tower Hamlets because of government welfare cuts. The Conservative-led council is in talks with developer R55 to buy a plot of land called Devon Wharf in Poplar, east London. The site, currently owned by Chilton Transport, has planning permission for 66 homes, including 50 for private sale, 10 for social rent and six for intermediate rent. The permission expires on 25 June, meaning building work would have to start by then. Under the plan, Westminster would use the homes as temporary accommodation but a spokesperson for the council stressed the idea was still just a proposal.”


Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said;

“Nothing could illustrate Westminster Conservatives’ warped sense of priorities and their intent on moving working families on low and middle incomes out of Westminster, than these two land transactions. The Moxon Street site could have provided good homes for long standing residents currently living in over-crowded accommodation, thereby releasing homes elsewhere in the borough for people in housing need. But the Conservatives priority is to sell the Moxon Street land for luxury homes and to use the money to move those in housing need to other, poorer parts of London.“

Commenting on Westminster’s plans, Steve Stride, Chief Executive of 8,490-home association Poplar Harca, told ‘Inside Housing’;

“For Westminster Council to dump homeless families in an area where they have no ties, no support and no interest risks repeating hard-learned lessons from the past, especially residualisation of struggling households”


This entry was posted in Council finances, Exporting those in housing need, Families, Homeless Families, Housing, Housing Benefit, Moxon Street, Temporary accommodation and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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