April 29, 2016

Fears that planning policy will have unintended consequences

Last year, rules which allowed office space to be converted to residential property without a need to seek planning permission were made permanent.

At the time, the Housing Minister hailed the changes as a golden opportunity to tap into the potential of underused buildings and create homes for first-time buyers.

However, there is a growing concern about the implications for businesses trying to find appropriate premises in the city, with some suggesting that over a million square feet of space could be lost.

It is estimated that an area equivalent in size to 153 football pitches has already disappeared.

Nicky Gavron, who sits on the London Assembly, said: “Seeing businesses turfed out of offices and other employment spaces across the capital will do nothing to help London’s economy. Nor will allowing developers to ride roughshod over planning standards solve London’s housing crisis.

“Yes, we need to solve the housing crisis but this isn’t the way to do it. What this policy does is rob local communities of an opportunity to deliver the developments suitable to their neighbourhoods and result in tiny sub-standard housing which fails to serve the needs of Londoners.”

At Royds, our commercial property team are available to advise individuals and businesses on lettings, leases and all aspects of property transactions. For more information please visit our website or contact Gareth Williams, Bharat Nahar or Susan Voice.

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