A £300 MILLION scheme in the heart of London is being trumpeted as one of the most exciting opportunities for investors since buy-to-let.

The 14-storey apartment hotel to be built on the dilapidated County Hall Island site overlooking Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament will incorporate 900 hotel and penthouse suites.

The first flats will go on sale this weekend at a public exhibition in the ballroom of the Riverbank Park Plaza on the Albert Embankment. It is the latest stage in the ten-year process to redevelop County Hall and the immediate area.

Development partners Galliard and the Frogmore Property Company say apartment owners at Westminster Bridge Park Plaza will be guaranteed a six per cent income return until 2015. Prices for a 999 year lease start at £175,000.

"After this time, the suites will continue to be managed and let by the hotel operator Park Plaza Hotels Europe with the possibility of significant upward growth," said a spokesman.

Stephen Conway, managing director of Galliard believes the project will appeal to those looking for properties to add to their Self Invested Pension Plan.

"People from all over the UK, the Far East and India have already expressed an interest in this exciting scheme. We are expecting strong demand from people looking for a hassle-free and cost-effective investment."

The new apart hotel, as it's termed, follows a similar scheme in Addington Street where Galliard has built a 395 room apart hotel on a near derelict London site.

The Westminster development will include studios, one-beds, two- beds, dual guest rooms, right up to penthouse suites with spectacular views over the river, fully fitted kitchens, marble bathrooms and plasma TVs.

The list of five star facilities the developers propose to provide includes 24-hour concierge, conference rooms, business lounges, a ballroom, two restaurants, brasserie and bars and a health spa, gym and indoor pool.