The Qatari royal family's plans to build a £200m, 17 bedroom palace in Westminster's Regent's Park have been pooh-poohed by the council on the grounds that the borough already has a shortage of housing.

The application would have seen two Grade I-listed mansions knocked through to create a luxury pad boasting 14 lounges, four dining rooms, a pool, cinema, cigar lounge, library, gym, staff quarters and a butler's suite, the Guardian reports.

Qatar's emir Sheikh Tamim has been on something of a shopping spree in London recently, snapping up Canary Wharf just last week for a reported £2.6bn to go with the purchases of the world -famous Harrods department store in Knightsbridge and the iconic Shard skyscraper.

Doha's first family paid £120m for the mansions in 2013.

But his highness's hopes of turning them into a humble abode for himself and one of his two wives appear to have come to nought after a Westminster planning officer pointed out that the application "would not meet S14 of Westminster's City Plan: Strategic Policies adopted November 2013".

The council's policy, a spokesman explained, is that buildings containing a number of homes or flats should not be knocked through.

"Negotiation could not overcome the reasons for refusal," said planning officer Matthew Rees. So there.

Even the royal family's offer of £850,000 towards building affordable housing in the borough cut no ice, with Rees declaring such a donation would not be permitted.

Paul Dimoldenberg, leader of Westminster's opposition Labour group, told the Guardian that in any case, £850,000 would only get you a two-bedroom flat in the swanky environs of Cornwall Terrace.

"There is no need for more multimillion-pound houses," he said.

"The issue isn't finding homes for the Qatar royal family or any other monarchy. We need to find homes for people on medium and low incomes."

"We need as many homes in central London as we can possibly get," the council spokesman said.

According to Westminster's website, the planning application has now been withdrawn.