London develops new defences against office to resi schemes


To protect London office space, the City of London has decided to impose measures against office to residential conversions.

A meeting for the Planning and Transport Committee for the City of London took place at the Guildhall in December to discuss changes to London’s Local Plan. These changes will enforce the protection of the financial sector’s office space.

These changes mean that developers of residential spaces must now prove that the site they wish to develop is “not viable or suitable in the long term” for office space, and must also confirm that “there is no recent or likely future demand for continued office use on a site or building”.

The amendments to the Local Plan also mentioned that, “the protection of office accommodation will be applied City-wide, including within or near the residential areas identified in this Plan.”

Last year the government suggested plans to make temporary rules allowing office to residential conversions a permanent fixture. The government also announced that these regulations would apply throughout the rest of the UK.

These regulations were introduced to improve upon housing supply but has since been criticised by the City and many organisations that stated the measures would cause “significant adverse implications on London’s status as a leading financial centre.”

By: Kirsty MacGregor

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