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or is that what happens now?
less dickish reasons no? planning etc?
I can understand someone from out of UK with little knowledge local heritage wanting to make a home out of these things.
I've actually been in Cornwall Terrace and they are massive buildings but with tiny pokey rooms that wouldn't have bothered the gentry who used them as city pads. It's not unreasonable for someone to want to make it into a family home
most authorities I imagine will have similar policies about not reducing the housing supply - but it'll be especially important in Westminster as the West End has a chronic shortage of office space and some of (if not the) highest commercial rents in the world, and there would be widespread conversion if not for that rule.
But saying that, converting two palatial homes into one super palatial home isn't going to make a spot of difference to the housing supply really, and as there's no solid concept of precedent within planning allowing this one through wouldn't really have endangered the wider residential market.
given they're incapable of dealing with stuff like this: http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2011/nov/26/one-hyde-park-council-tax
and the elected members, who tend to be old money Mayfair Tories and come out with things like this http://ow.ly/IcXVX
PLUS they have offered £850k to the councils affordable housing fund.....which must surely be enough to house at least 1 family......so really the only housing that will be reduced will be that there is one less Mega expensive house available.....which is a moot point anyway, since there is nothing stopping them buying the 2 residences anyway.
Dont really get why this is a victory
Illustrates the insanity of Council Tax as well. Top band CT in Westminster is £1,353.48 so when these homes get joined Westminster will get revenue from 1 top band home not two.
Even in New York property tax is 1% annually of the value of the property so would be over £2m per year.
The problem with % based property taxes tho is that they're really good at clearing poorer people out of an area that has a rise in prices.