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Multi-million pound central London “superflat” application rejected

Westminster City Council has blocked an application to combine two multi-million pound flats which it believes would “exacerbate the housing shortage”.

Ashley Tabor, the founder of Global radio, applied to create a £180 million 10-bed ‘superflat’ for him and his child, complete with a cinema, family kitchens, and a butler’s pantry.

But the media magnate’s application was rejected by the local authority on Tuesday evening.

Westminster Council said the proposal was “unconscionable” amid a housing shortage. It added that it would issue new rules to prevent the loss of family-sized homes.

Westminster councillor Daniel Astaire said: “Our aim is to ensure fairness and opportunity in housing and we refuse to sell golden postcodes to the highest bidder. For the future, we intend to strengthen our policy to prevent this kind of loss of homes in the city.

“The council wants to create more housing. This kind of proposal means we have to run faster simply to stay still.”

Mr Tabor, who is the president of popular radio stations Capital and Classic FM, bought the first property, a four-bedroom apartment in The Knightsbridge, for £15.2 million in 2006. He bought the second, a six-bedroom apartment, in May this year for a reported £90 million.

He applied to combine the two flats into a 15,000 sq ft property – creating what would have been one of the most expensive apartments in the world.

The developers, Gerald Eve, described the project as being necessary to create a “large, modern family home where the family could live separately from guest accommodation and other more public areas of the house”.

The council had waved the construction through on two previous occasions, in 2006 and in 2010, but said new guidelines had been adopted in November 2016.

Councillor Daniel Astaire said: “We need a city that’s open, accessible and affordable to all those who need to live and work here.

“Our aim is to ensure fairness and opportunity in housing and we refuse to sell golden postcodes to the highest bidder. For the future, we intend to strengthen our policy to prevent this kind of loss of homes in the city.”

Mr Tabor’s counsel had argued that, with some 120,000 dwellings in Westminster, the loss of a single unit would make no perceptible difference to the supply of housing.

Westminster Council said more than 200 similar applications had been made in Westminster since 2013 – which would have led to the potential loss of nearly 300 homes had they been approved.

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