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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
James Mayer & Ryan Fahey

London Sky Pool neighbour development dubbed 'Dubai-on-Thames' as flats 'go unsold'

A London housing development has been branded "Dubai-on-Thames" because a chunk of its homes reportedly remain unsold and empty.

Dubai is famed for its towering skyscrapers and luxury living, but the emirate is notoriously oversupplied with properties.

Previous studies revealed almost 40 per cent of all buildings in the city laid vacant.

And a UK development in Vauxhall in the shadow of the luxury "Sky Pool" now faces the same crisis, local Labour councillor Simon Hogg claims.

Chinese property giant R&F owns Vauxhall Square, One Nine Elms and Thames City, which are adjacent to the Sky Pool's Embassy Garden, nevertheless made £100million in sales last year.

R&F claim to have £100million-worth of property for 2021, which it called a "strong performance by anyone's standards" (AFP via Getty Images)

Despite concerns about empty homes, R&F say their £100million sales for 2021 is a "strong performance by anyone's standard".

R&F's sites are based in Nine Elms, an area famed for its "Sky Pool" - a swimming pool bridging two towers 35 metres above ground, My London reports.

The owners of Nine Elms, Ballymore, have been slammed for allegedly barring shared ownership tenants from using the swanky amenities, like the Sky Pool.

In a previous report, residents claimed they have "no amenities" and that they're forced to use a set of routinely neglected "poor doors" while full tenants can swim in the sky.

Also on the Nine Elms site are multiple skyscrapers, cafés, restaurants, and it's also the home to the US Embassy.

Local politicians say a complex near the Sky Pool in Nine Elms is becoming like "Dubai-on-Thames" (Getty Images)
Shared ownership residents at Nine Elms' Embassy Gardens development say they're forced to use a set of routinely neglected "poor doors" while full owners can swim 35 metres above the ground in the Sky Pool (REUTERS)

The Sky Pool and its 'poor doors' were built by developer Ballymore.

Cllr Hogg branded the R&F development "Dubai-on-Thames" on Twitter last week.

The comment came after a meeting of Wandsworth Council where he voted against development plans citing a lack of "genuinely affordable homes".

The US Embassy is now based at the Nine Elms site (AFP/Getty Images)

He said in the meeting: "Over development has gone too far in this borough, there's sort of towers sprouting that people don't know about, developments that are there for overseas investors rather than for local people."

But Conservative councillor Guy Senior, claimed that without the overseas investment, there would be no developments at all.

Mr Senior, said: "Without that overseas investment, those developments would not have taken place in the first place.

"So it is important that we get in a modicum of this investment because obviously we wouldn't be building otherwise."

Labour councillor Simon Hogg voiced his concerns over the lack of "genuinely" affordable local housing in the area (REUTERS)

A spokesperson for R&F Properties UK told MyLondon: “We have exchanged contracts to sell almost £100 million of property in the United Kingdom in 2021, which is a strong performance by anyone’s standards.

"Sales continue to be strong, with a good pipeline of transactions due to also complete before the end of the year - buoyed by the recent opening of the Northern line extension - and we look forward to welcoming our first residents to Thames City next summer.

"As of November 2021, it is categorically untrue to state that more than half of our UK sales are related party transactions.”

A Wandsworth Council spokesperson said: “Nine Elms is home to a thriving and growing local community of people living together in all types of housing who have chosen to make this part of London their home.

“The regeneration of this former industrial area is delivering 20,000 new homes, including 4,000 affordable homes, 6.5 million square feet of employment space plus a tube link to Battersea for the very first time.

"The construction phase has created 20,000 jobs and there will be 25,000 permanent ones available to local people when the project is complete."

This record on affordable homes delivery has been singled out by Mayor Sadiq Khan who has described Wandsworth as a “fantastic example” of a London borough that’s building the homes that Londoners need.

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