The Cricketer’s Estate built by the London Borough of St Marylebone in St John’s Wood must be the first old council estate now wholly owned privately by one individual including the freehold of the land. A sign of this very unusual case of public housing disappearing altogether on the Estate is all the additional security around the boundaries.
When the great and the good built this Estate through the local council, they could never have imagined this could happen to the housing being provided for its residents in Marylebone in desperate housing need. This is obviously long before Right to Buy came into existence for tenants but what makes this quite incredible is that almost all the leasehold interests are privately now in the hands of one individual. On many Council Estates in Central London, you often find over 50 per cent of the flats and houses are owned by leaseholders but almost completely by one individual via his companies, is very unusual indeed. Furthermore he has managed to obtain the freehold of the land from the Council as well.
I understand the landlord of the Estate works in the City and has now brought himself another adjacent property to look over his private Estate. Clearly he feels its his manor now!
This is a unfortunate reflection of our times in housing, particularly in London.