More luxury ‘buy-to-leave’ apartments are being planned in former Government offices and embassies as the West End is becoming even more exclusive and more of a ‘ghost town’.
According to the PrimeResi website http://www.primeresi.com/ ;
• Galliard Homes has acquired 35 Old Queen Street, W1 – the former European Council of Foreign Relations building – for £21.5m, and plans to turn it into “an ultra-premium residential address providing circa 20 luxury two, three and four bedroom lateral apartments”.
• The MOD’s Old War Office building in Whitehall is now surplus to requirements, and is being put up for sale for “more than £100m”.
• London’s diplomatic map is being redrawn, with a glut of ambassadorial opportunities in Mayfair, Marylebone, Westminster, Kensington and Holland Park. Expiring leases, booming residential values and changes in how diplomacy is undertaken are driving a wave of Embassy and diplomatic building sales across prime London, creating the potential for hundreds of new luxury apartments and trophy mansions in London’s finest addresses
Councillor Barbara Grahame, Labour’s Planning spokesperson, said;
“Parts of Westminster are turning in to a “ghost town” as more ‘buy-to-leave’ luxury apartments are being built and sold as investments for overseas buyers who rarely live there, sucking the life out the West End and contributing nothing to the local community or local economy. Westminster Conservatives are fuelling this unacceptable trend by allowing developers to ‘buy out’ their responsibility to provide on-site affordable homes at less than the Council’s planning policies require. The only way to create lively and vibrant communities in the West End is to have a mix of housing, including social rented homes where people who work locally can also live and bring up their family.”