Waves of wealth.
Pimlico should be for families. That’s the view of the local councillor (Conservative) I was speaking to; she fears that it’s being increasingly eyed by investors from Shanghai and Moscow, who see property as an asset, not a home. I’m with her.
Certain developments for which planning permission is being sought are decidedly too flash; you just know that they’re intended for high-net-worth foreigners, who would rarely occupy them. There’s what, in the days of the Cold War, would have been a domino effect at work — except it isn’t Communists knocking the tiles down, but the world’s super rich. Kensington, Belgravia and Mayfair have gone. Only by a determined display of its traditional scruffiness will Pimlico avoid being next.
Change is upon us and I see it as I walk down the street. Mine, although quite recently painted, has become one of the shabbier front doors; most gleam in fresh lavender and aubergine hues, flanked by topiary balls and exquisite window boxes. A few houses have the builders in; I suspect they’re being gutted, prior to architect-designed interiors being installed. The change is, in many ways, all to the good. But where will it end? And who can, King Canute-like, oppose the tide of wealth, without getting his feet wet?