Westminster Conservatives want to increase the number of luxury houses and flats in North Westminster and Paddington.
In a throwback to the bad old days of Shirley Porter, a ‘sales brochure’ distributed to participants at the London Real Estate Forum held in Berkeley Square on 11th/12th June says the Council’s ‘development opportunity area in north Westminster offers space for future growth, only moments from the West End’.
Labour Councillors say that, as part of a plan to “encourage development and increase density”, the Council is planning the demolition of Council homes and their replacement with luxury apartments and new office developments, which will extend the West End northwards into Paddington and the rest of north Westminster.
The Council leaflet boasts that “prime office rents are rising faster than other cities” but fails to mention that the cost of a one bed West End apartment is now out of reach of even a well-paid professional person.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said;
“Westminster Conservatives have already made the West End unaffordable to all but the super-rich and they now want to make the rest of Westminster unaffordable by encouraging even more luxury apartments. Let’s get one thing absolutely clear, there is no luxury housing crisis in Westminster. But there is an affordable housing crisis in Westminster and the rest of central London and we need to build more social housing.”
“Westminster Conservatives call North Westminster and Paddington an “Opportunity Area”. But for whom is this an “Opportunity Area”? Is this an opportunity for local residents living in overcrowded conditions or is the Council creating opportunities for people wanting another buy-to-let property investment to add to their portfolio? The Council should be acting on behalf of the people of Westminster by building more social housing, rather than encouraging the kind of casino-economy development that will push price up and residents out.”
“Communities in North Westminster and Paddington will resist the area being turned in to a ‘playground for the rich’. Investors thinking of spending money going in to partnership with Westminster Conservatives should do so with their eyes open. Labour Councillors will only support regeneration if there is a real gain in the number of social housing homes to be built. We believe in balanced communities where people of all walks of life can live and work. “
A copy of the Westminster ‘Sales Brochure’ is hereWestminster Sales Brochure