£670,000 studio flats reignite row over Mount Pleasant 'cheap homes'

The long-running row over the £1.2 billion redevelopment of the Mount Pleasant mail sorting office has burst back into life after flats went on sale with starting prices from £670,000 for a studio.

The 681-apartment scheme in Clerkenwell , where fewer than a quarter of the homes are designated “affordable”, was given the go-ahead in 2014 by then mayor Boris Johnson, who overruled the objections of “bourgeois nimby” councillors.

Campaigners against the development said they were “dismayed but not surprised” when the first wave of homes were released for off-plan sales last week.

They ranged from £670,000 for a studio to £905,000 for a one-bedroom flat or £2.15 million for a three-bed apartment. The average asking price for a one-bed flat in Islington is £551,368.

The 681-apartment scheme in Clerkenwell, where fewer than a quarter of the homes are designated “affordable”, was given the go-ahead in 2014 (Taylor Wimpey)

Nicholas Boys Smith of the campaign group Create Streets, which commissioned an alternative proposal from architect Francis Terry, said: “Micro flats with mega price tags are very 2014. It’s time to move on and create streets of beauty and gentle density for everyone to use, live in and enjoy.”

He dubbed the blocks of the new development “Fortress Unpleasant”.

Royal Mail sold the land to house builder Taylor Wimpey for £193 million in August last year. The 129-year-old Royal Mail sorting office will continue to operate alongside the new Postmark development, with an original Art Deco building being retained.

The 6.25-acre scheme is now known as Postmark and is made up of two districts, called West Central 1 and East Central 1, straddling the WC1 and EC1 postcodes.

Darren McCormack, sales and marketing director at Taylor Wimpey Central London, said: “As the largest residential development site acquired in central London in 2017, Postmark is a flagship scheme for Taylor Wimpey Central London.

"Here, style and design meet years of heritage, while the surrounding areas are some of London’s most in-demand locations to live and work.”

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