City of London fears over office-to-flat conversion plan


Reuters news agency reports that financiers in the City of London have spoken out against Government plans to convert London office space to flats.

The City, which has few residential properties and is traditionally a solely commercial district, could see new residential developments in the area.

The Government says it wants to ease the housing shortage by allowing residential developments in the commercial financial sector of the city.

But Peter Wynne Rees, from the Corporation of London, which operates the City district, said: “The impact on the City of London will be disastrous. The City would no longer be a commercial district and London would lose its role as a world financial centre.”

MP George Osborne suggested 250,000 new homes could be built if long-term vacant and unoccupied office space was converted. The Government is consulting on the proposals this month and could make an announcement on whether it will push on with the changes by the autumn.