The Anonymous Widower

Westminster Proposes A Voluntary Mansion Tax

This may seem a bit strange for the Tories’ flagship Council, but it does seem well researched, according to a report in today’s Sunday Times.

Any house worth over £10 million would be put in a new band above Council Tax Band H and the owners would pay double the Band H rate of tax, which is currently £1,376 a year.

Westminster has 2,000 properties in this band, that are worth over £10 million and the scheme would raise £2.75 million, if everybody paid the extra, which would be voluntary.

It’s an interesting concept, that has been well-thought out.

But like most radical plans, I doubt it will see the light of day!


October 1, 2017 Posted by | World | , | 6 Comments

London’s Housing Market Is Changing

This article in Construction Enquirer is entitled Quintain launches London’s largest build to rent site.

Quintain are to build thousands of rental homes at Wembley Park around Wembley Stadium.

Reading the article, they seem to be making a professional job of it.

  • 3,000 houses will start construction this year.
  • 5,000 houses will be built  over seven years.
  • There will be a primary School, a seven acre park and a landscaped square.
  • Four companies will share the building.
  • Quintain have even set up their own company to manage the properties and their rental.
  • Brent Council seem to have given the development their blessing.

Looking back to the 1970s, when C, myself and our three boys were looking for somewhere to live, and were unable to get a mortgage because my income wasn’t in any way guaranteed, we had no option but to rent.

We had one choice of a quality development in London, where we could rent and that was the Barbican.

I don’t think we’d have gone to Wembley, but we would have loved to have had a choice.

I suspect we could see other developments like this all over the country.

Everyone will benefit.

February 7, 2017 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Development At The Royal Arsenal

The historic Royal Arsenal site at Woolwich is being developed.

Wikipedia gives a good summary of present day developments.

This is the summary.

The sprawling Arsenal site is now one of the focal points for redevelopment in the Thames Gateway zone, but the links to its historic past are not lost. Many notable buildings in the historic original (West) site are being retained in the redevelopment; the site includes Firepower – The Royal Artillery Museum telling the story of the Royal Artillery, and Greenwich Heritage Centre which tells the story of Woolwich, including the Royal Arsenal. Parts of the Royal Arsenal have been used to build residential and commercial buildings. One of the earliest developments was Royal Artillery Quays, a series of glass towers rising along the riverside built by Barratt Homes in 2003.

Underneath the latest developments is the new Woolwich station for Crossrail.

These are some pictures I took.

According to Wikipedia it is one of the biggest concentrations of Grade I and Grade II listed buildings converted for residential use.

This aerial picture shows the site from the South East.


The station is behind the towers along the main road.

Woolwich Station As An Interchange

Woolwich station has not been designed as an intended interchange, but it is only a short walk away from Woolwich Arsenal station, which has connections to Southeastern and DLR services.

As the walking connection passes several useful shops including a large Marks and Spencer food store, who knows how people will use the interchange?





January 27, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , | 2 Comments

Kempton Park Racecourse Could Close For Housing

This article on the BBC is entitled Kempton Park racecourse faces closure to make way for housing.

This Google Map shows Kempton Park racecourse and the surrounding area.

Kempton Park

Kempton Park

It is a large site of about a third of a square mile, bounded on the Southern side by the Thames, with the Shepperton Branch to Waterloo on the Northern side.


  • London needs lots of quality housing and it would certainly provide that.
  • Kempton Park station currently has two trains per hour (tph) taking 44 minutes to and from Waterloo.
  • As I said in An Analysis Of Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2, whether Crossrail 2 is built or not, four tph could run on the Shepperton Branch to Waterloo in perhaps 30 minutes.
  • There might be space for a section station on the London side of Kempton Park station.
  • Road connections are good to the M3 and M25.
  • A black-cab or mini-cab to Heathrow wouldn’t be outrageous.

On this rough look it certainly looks to be a good site for housing.

It is also possibly the only site owned by The Jockey Club, whose sale would create enough cash for thei improvements to go ahead.

But as on Radio 5 tonight, not all horse racing participants and fans will like this decision.

January 10, 2017 Posted by | Sport, World | , , | Leave a comment

Crossrail Lined Up For A Skyscraper

This article from Building Design On Line, is entitled Shedkm’s Crossrail tower in for planning.

This is the first paragraph.

Shedkm-designed plans for a 29-storey residential tower block next to Abbey Wood Station in south-east London have been lodged for approval with the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

So Crossrail will go up and down, as well as East and West.

This scheme will comprise 208 homes and a ninety-bed hotel.

I think we’ll see more of schemes like this, especially to build much needed housing.


November 20, 2016 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

The New Beam Park Station

Beam Park station is a new station that is to support a large housing development of the same name, which will be built on the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway, between Dagenham Dock and Rainham stations.

This map shows the development, with the station numbered at six.

Beam Park

Beam Park

The station is the Westernmost number on the Southern boundary of Beam Park.

  • It is possibly located where Kent Avenue crosses over the railway.
  • Note that some sources call it Beam Reach station.
  • With up to 5,000 new homes in the area, I would think that the station is needed.

I think it is interesting that London is getting two new stations; Barking Riverside and Beam Park, in the same area of London.

October 17, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

I’m All For More Of This!

This article from Global Rail News is entitled Toronto park plan for downtown railway.

The article describes how Toronto wants to purchase the air rights over a 21-acre railway through the City Centre and put a park on the top.

There are certainly places in the UK, where this approach can be used to create parts, housing or commercial buildings over the railway.

Especially in Londom, where land is so expensive.

Look at this Google Map of the rail lines into Liverpool Street as they pass Shoreditch High Street station on the East London Line.

Lines Through Shoreditch

Lines Through Shoreditch

Surely, a better use could be found for the space above this railway. I estimate this space must be about ten hectares and if properly developed could contain lots of buildings and a green walkway connecting Shoreditch High Street station to Liverpool Street station.

And what about the waste of space that is Euston station?

Euston Station And The Approach Lines

Euston Station And The Approach Lines

Hopefully adding HS2 to the station will improve things.

August 5, 2016 Posted by | Travel, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Meridian Water Gets Its First Planning Permission

This article in the Enfield Independent is entitled Planning permission given to first batch of Meridian Water homes. This is the start of the article.

Work will soon start on the first homes in a £3.5billion development after getting the planning green light.

Enfield Council’s planning committee has given permission for the first phase of Meridian Water, agreeing to the construction of 725 homes, as well as retail space, play areas, a community centre and a new train station which will have the facilities to include the planned Crossrail 2.

The decision follows the announcement last month of Barratt and SEGRO as developers for the scheme, which the council hope will provide 10,000 homes and 6,700 jobs in Edmonton.

London certainly needs this development with all its houses and a replacement for Angel Road station and I doubt that few will mourn the passing of the industrial wasteland that the area is now.

July 28, 2016 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Ed’s Shed

This house is in the heart of De Beauvoir Town, which is the area of London, where I live on the Northern edge.

Ed's Shed

Ed’s Shed

It is an unusual modern house to sit amongst all the Georgian ones. It is not the only one in the Conservation Area.

It’s called Ed’s Shed and there is a web site.

I like it!

Why don’t we get more adventurous modern houses? Architects are creating the future and we don’t want uniformity!

July 1, 2016 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment

A Waste Of Space?

I took this picture, as I rode through Kentish Town station on a Thameslink train.

A Waste Of Space?

A Waste Of Space?

I’d never realised there was quite so much space.

This Google Map shows the Midland Main Line as it passes through the station.

Midland Main Line Through Kentish Town

Midland Main Line Through Kentish Town

I do wonder, if this site would be one that could be used to create housing or other buildings above the railway.

  • In a few years time, there will be upwards of eight Thameslink trains an hour through the station.
  • After the rebuilding of Camden Town station, there is the possibility of upwards of thirty trains per hour on the Northern Line.
  • Kentish Town West station on the North London Line is not far away.
  • Just off this map to the West, is the large site, where J. Murphy and Sons have their offices and Central London base.

It would appear to be a well-connected place for homes, offices, schools, colleges or hotels, and I’m sure Camden Council are doing their best, to improve the area.

April 20, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment