Crackdown on celebrities

Multi-millionaire celebrities will not be able to buy new houses in Kensington and Chelsea if local councillors get their way.

Plans released by the council last week would mean only people who live in the borough or their families will be able to buy private properties, so celebrities looking to move into the prestigious area would have to prove a family connection.

James Cotton, mortgage specialist at London & Country, says: “I have heard this idea before, mentioned as an option for areas such as the Lake District and Cumbria which are prime areas for second homes but also have a local community to cater for.

“These are the sorts of areas that would be good for first or second-time buyers but instead are snapped up by people who can pay cash and who then use the place for only for one or two weeks in the year. It makes it harder for ordinary, local house buyers to get a place.

“But it’s a different kettle of fish in Kensington and Chelsea as it is so expensive and people who have family or who already live in the area need to buy houses themselves, so the plans could help them.”

Stars who have already made the Royal Borough their home include Robbie Williams and Madonna. But with houses all over the world, often celebrities’ properties are left empty throughout much of the year.

Almost 10% of the Kensington and Chelsea’s houses are registered as second homes.

Daniel Moylan, deputy council leader and cabinet member for planning policy at Kensington and Chelsea, says: “We have a population of elderly people and people in affordable housing on the one hand and rich whiz kids in showbiz on the other.

“You don’t see kids playing on the streets now. That can’t be right.”