business

Supersized Penthouse Planned for Knightsbridge Faces Rejection

Planning officials recommended that London’s Westminster council members reject a plan to turn two luxury apartments in the Knightsbridge district into a single large penthouse that would have been one of the most valuable homes in the city.

Radio station owner Ashley Tabor, who paid 90 million pounds ($119 million) to buy one of the apartments in May, is seeking approval to convert the homes into a single 10-bedroom penthouse over two floors. The project overlooking Hyde Park should be refused because the borough council’s policy is to discourage the merging of homes, Westminster’s planning official wrote in a filing Wednesday. Members are due to vote on the project on Oct. 17.

The completed home, which would have two kitchens and a movie theater, could be valued at as much as 200 million pounds, the Daily Mail newspaper reported in May. It would have almost 1,420 square meters (15,260 square feet) of space, making it more than 15 times the mean size of a home in the U.K.

Developers began building large homes in central London after the financial crisis, seeking to appeal to overseas buyers who wanted bigger than average mansions in the best districts. London’s mayor and local councils have since moved to discourage bigger properties as part of a string of new policies to grow the number of homes in the city after prices soared.

Tabor, who owns U.K. radio stations including Classic FM, also made a submission that the project does not require planning approval. The council disagrees with that filing.

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