Commercial versus Residential Use

The most exciting prospect for Mayfair and the West End over the next decade is the continued reversion of commercial buildings back into residential use. Although a new threat for residential property is Westminster City Council’s consultation document; “City Management Plan”, which proposes to impose a new levy once one or more residential units are combined creating to a net loss of the total number of residential units.

This tax would commence once 100 square meters is “lost” from the housing stock and is being seen not only as a developers’ tax with payment to Westminster’s Affordable Housing Fund, but at its worst a deterrent to future residential schemes. (There is already an affordable housing contribution for reversion over 1,000 square metres.) This would further ensure prices in Westminster are maintained as stock levels would surely suffer, potentially driving prices up even further!

This is a complete ‘U’ turn from Westminster Council given their recent positive encouragement for further residential use being brought back to Mayfair and the West End with the proposed plan generally being in favour of residential developers.

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