Government “naive” about office to homes proposals, says Westminster City Council

10:54 22 February 2013

Parts of London should be exempt from proposals to allow offices to be turned into homes without planning permission. Picture: Carmen Valino

Parts of London should be exempt from proposals to allow offices to be turned into homes without planning permission. Picture: Carmen Valino

carmen valino all rights

The government has been branded “naive” by Westminster City Council over its proposals to allow offices to be turned into homes without planning permission.

London Mayor Boris Johnson today called on the government to exempt parts of the city from the proposals, saying business hubs needed to be protected to ensure they continued to attract investment.

The areas he wants exempted are the Central Activities Zone, which includes the City of London, the South Bank and the West End; the commercial area north of the Isle of Dogs and London’s Enterprise Zones in the Royal Docks; plus the part of the City Fringe in east London which makes up the emerging “Tech City” opportunity area.

Much of Westminster lies within the Central Activities Zone.

Cllr Robert Davis, deputy leader of Westminster City Council, who has looked after the planning brief for over 10 years in the city, said: “The government is being a little naive on this issue. In commercial areas like Westminster and the City of London we are successful largely because of businesses.

“To allow offices to convert to residential, you are going to lose the heart and centre of business.

“Right now Westminster can insist on developments providing at least 30 per cent in affordable homes as part of any scheme, local authorities need to retain that control.”

Related articles

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Mark Wright has said he will be keeping his shirt on in this weekend’s Strictly Come Dancing final.

Read more

The singer reckons there needs to be some post-Strictly rehab for the contestants.

Read more

Caroline Flack revealed taking part on Strictly Come Dancing has been a worthwhile life experience.

Read more

Promoted content

We've got a great selection of Secret Santa presents and stocking fillers for under a tenner...  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Office Secret Santa: it’s a Christmas ritual that everyone dreads, but no-one wants to seem like a Scrooge by saying no. Never fear, London24 is here to make buying gifts for Dave in Accounts simple and stress-free, with a selection of presents for under a tenner

Money saving Christmas gifts to add to your shopping list!

It’s nearly time to go on the hunt for Christmas presents, stuck on what to get for your nearest and dearest? We’ve picked out a selection of great deals to get you started and to help you save some pennies!

And they have a role to play in saving their species.

Twinkle, twinkle you little stars – thanks for making your homes so festive.

Offers for university places are at a record high.

Quirky London