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Haringey is London's best performer

Price growth is no longer driven by prime central boroughs like Kensington and Chelsea Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire

Rightmove is also seeing evidence that house price growth in London is no longer being driven by the wealthy "prime central" boroughs.

London's worst-performing borough in March was named as Kensington and Chelsea, where asking prices had dropped by 2.4% on the previous month.

But the average price tag for a home in the borough was still £2.1 million.

The English capital's best-performing borough was found to be Haringey, where prices had surged by 9.5% month-on-month to reach £597,634 typically.

Westminster and Camden, where average asking prices were above £1 million, were also among Rightmove's worst-performing areas in London in March, while Barnet and Hounslow, where prices were around £600,000-plus, were among the best.

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Fall in deliberate fires started in London

The number of fires started deliberately in London has fallen sharply over the past decade, partly because fewer cars are being abandoned and set on fire, new figures have revealed.

The London Fire Brigade said it attended 81 deliberate fires a week last year, compared to an average of 644 in 2003/4.

One of the reasons for the sharp decline is the increasing scrap value of cars, making it less likely they will be abandoned.

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said:

"Over the last decade the brigade has worked extremely hard alongside its partners in the police and local councils to make it more difficult than ever for mindless vandals to endanger the lives of Londoners by setting fire to rubbish and vehicles left in our streets."

– London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson

Kensington and Chelsea has seen the biggest fall in arson attacks.

"Our twice-weekly domestic rubbish collections and regular street cleaning helps remove the materials that people can use to start fires, as does the work our officers do in spotting potential problems and reporting them."

– Councillor Nicholas Paget-Brown, leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

London borough tops home price poll

The London borough of Kensington and Chelsea is home to six out of the 10 most expensive streets in England and Wales, a report has found.

For the second year running, Egerton Crescent in South Kensington was named by Lloyds Bank's report as the country's dearest place to live, with homes there having a typical price tag of just under £7.4 million.

Located near to the Victoria and Albert Museum and Harrods, many properties in Egerton Crescent are Grade II-listed Georgian homes boasting around four or five bedrooms.

Woman charged with stealing diamonds

A 35-year-old Singaporean woman has been charged with theft of diamonds from a home in one of the wealthiest parts of the capital.

Waheeda Abdullah is due to appear at Hammersmith Magistrates' Court this afternoon accused of stealing the jewels from a home in Kensington and Chelsea in 2009.

It is understood that she was an employee of the homeowner, who is a "prominent foreign national".

Kensington not a bastion for the super-rich

Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP welcomes decision on controversial basements Credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A Conservative MP has welcomed a local authority's decision to "call time" on "excessive" basement extensions in one of London's wealthiest areas.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind - MP for Kensington - says basement developments are a controversial issue in his constituency.

He has spoken in a local newspaper column of his delight at moves by the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea to limit their size saying he does not want Kensington to be seen as "simply a bastion of the super-rich".

"As many Kensington residents will be aware, this has been a controversial issue for some time," said Sir Malcolm in a column in the Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle.

"A sense of proportion is needed, which finds the right balance between the rights of individual homeowners to develop their properties on the one hand with the rights of their neighbours and the community-at-large to be guaranteed a certain level of peace and quiet on the other.

"The Royal Borough has also expressed fears that excessive subterranean developments may threaten the area's natural heritage, whether it be trees and greenery or our many listed buildings. These are concerns I share wholeheartedly."

He added: "Kensington is sometimes dismissed by outsiders as simply a bastion of the super-rich. This has never been the case, nor do I wish it to be so."

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Kensington and Chelsea Council: 'We don't want a ban on basement development'

We do not argue for a ban on basement development, only for a better balance between them and the amenity of our other residents. If the cumulative impact of scores of schemes that take months and years to complete is to damage the wider quality of life in our borough I believe we have a right to take that into account.

– Cabinet Member for Planning Policy, Cllr Tim Ahern,

Councils to prevent more 'mega basements'

Kensington and Chelsea Council are set to ban basements too large from being built.

They plan to introduce stricter planning rules that could spell the end for 'iceberg house.'

Six weeks of public consultation on the proposed policies got underway today and are designed to introduce a sense of proportionality to basement proposals.

These policies include:

  • A reduction in the extent basements can intrude into the garden, from 85 per cent to 50 per cent, with that 50 per cent being a single area of space.
  • A restriction to a single storey in most cases, with exceptions only being considered for large comprehensive developments.
  • An outright ban on basement developments under, or in the gardens, of listed buildings or where basements already exist, though again exceptions might be considered on very large sites.

Developers to turn Earls Court site into 'new London district'

The Prince of Wales (centre) prepares to officially open the Ideal Home Show, Earls Court, London on March 16th 2012.
The Prince of Wales (centre) prepares to officially open the Ideal Home Show, Earls Court, London on March 16th 2012. Credit: PA

Developers say they want to turn the 77-acre site where Earls Court Exhibition Centre currently stands into a "new London district" by creating a High Street and 7,500 houses.

Earls Court was built in 1937 and is famous for hosting the Ideal Home Show and the Royal Tournament.

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