Change of Use from Retail to Residential

MQT on 2014-11-19
Session date: 
November 19, 2014
Question By: 
Navin Shah
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Does the Mayor agree that loss of local shops to residential (often sub-standard accommodation) is detrimental to local economy and damages the fabric of local High Streets? What action you are taking to influence the government to stop this from happening in London?


Answer for Change of Use from Retail to Residential

Answer for Change of Use from Retail to Residential

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I have been working with the Boroughs in responding to this element of the Government's Technical Consultation on Planning.

I have expressed strong concern over government's proposals to allow changes of use without the need for planning permission. The unmanaged introduction of residential units into key shopping areas will not only damage the retail and service function of those centres by breaking up existing active frontages but will also constrain proposed London Plan policy to plan for their renewal with attractive and competitive ground level commercial, business and civic uses supported by higher density housing above set in an attractive town centre environment.

This form of planned development will help rejuvenate our town centres, not least in the face of the challenges posed by multi-channel shopping, and also make a significant contribution to meeting the housing needs of smaller household s which comprise nearly two thirds of overall household growth.