Central London Faces “detrimental impact” from Office Space Conversion
The ability of Central London to attract and house new firms could be seriously comprised according to Peter Rees, City Planning Officer for the Corporation of London, if a change in planning laws makes it easier for office space to be converted to residential property.
Originally announced in March by Chancellor George Osborne, the proposed change would seek to cut the ΓÇ£red tapeΓÇ¥ and relax the consultation process required to alter the use of designated industrial, storage and office space for residential purposes ΓÇô a move which Mr Rees believes would have a detrimental impact on the ability of leading business districts to accommodate future business growth.
ΓÇÿWhile the governmentΓÇÖs ambition of supporting economic growth and increasing housing stocks is laudable, the consultation on relaxing planning laws for the conversion of office space to residential properties could have a detrimental impact not only on the City of London but on business districts throughout the UK.ΓÇ¥ explained Mr Rees.
ΓÇÿThe cyclical nature of the property industry means that if developers were to turn offices into residential blocks when times were tough, the CityΓÇÖs ability to attract and house new firms when market conditions improved would be seriously diminished.ΓÇÖ
In an attempt to avoid such a pitfall, it is reported that Mr Rees will argue that leading business districts, such as the Square Mile, should be protected against such moves in order to ensure that enough Grade A Office Space remains available in order to attract and house future business growth within these important economic areas.