Westminster Labour has called on Westminster Council to refuse permission to demolish a very large family home in St John’s Wood so that it can be replaced by an even larger one. The application is before Westminster’s Planning Committee on Tuesday 22nd March.
The house at 43 Springfield Road, St John’s Wood, was built in the 1950s. It is 330 sq metres and boasts seven bedrooms and a garage. The applicant wishes to knock this down and replace it with a much larger house of 650 sq metres, including a full-width basement excavation. Surprisingly, the new house would have one fewer bedroom than before. The extra space is taken up with dressing rooms, extra bathrooms, a gym, games room and cinema room.
Over 300 tonnes of CO2 will be released in the construction of the new home, which is six times the average for new houses in the UK. It is true that the new house would be more energy efficient that the current one. But according to the applicant’s own report, it would take 50 years before the carbon used in construction is offset by these savings.
Councillor Geoff Barraclough, shadow cabinet member for planning, said:
“We need to reduce our carbon emissions today, not in 2072. There is no reason why the current building could not be retrofitted so that it uses less energy. And there is no good reason for demolishing a perfectly good family home.”