Council to limit size of 'super-prime' properties and encourage affordable homes
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Local Government, Regulation
kensington and chelseaImage: via Shutterstock
A council has announced planning guidelines to limit the size of 'super-prime' homes and encourage the construction of affordable homes.
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has proposed restricting the size of very large residential units to 25 percent of the overall floor space, in a bid to counteract wealthy foreign investors who are able to put huge sums of money in very large 'super-prime' residential units over 350 sq m.
The council has also announced restrictions on creating very large units by joining existing properties, except where a house that has previously been split into flats is restored to a single unit.
The restrictions follow the council’s recent move to set limits on the scale of basement development in the borough.
Highlights of these new policies include a reduction in the extent which basements can extend into the garden, a restriction to a single storey and an outright ban on basement developments under, or in the gardens, of listed buildings, or where a basement already exists.
Measures to encourage an increase in the number of affordable homes being built in the borough include raising the threshold where affordable housing should be built on site to 2,400 sq m.
By doubling the threshold, the council believes it will be more realistic for developers to build affordable homes as part of new developments instead of off-site.
Other changes require developers to make a financial contribution towards affordable housing on all schemes below the 2,400 sq m threshold.
This will be charged per square metre and on the entire floor space with the removal of the previous 800 sq m ‘tax free’ element.
Councillor Tim Ahern, cabinet member for planning policy, said:
“Property in Kensington and Chelsea has long been attractive to foreign investors and while we do not want to discourage international investment we want to restrict the proliferation of ‘super-prime’ properties to ensure there remains a balance in property sizes.
“Having some of the most expensive land values in the country means it is a constant challenge for us to build affordable homes in the Royal Borough.
“We believe that by raising the threshold for affordable housing to be built on site, combined with an increase in financial contributions from developers, we can achieve a meaningful increase in the number of affordable homes we deliver.”