Conversion of commercial premises

Meeting: 
MQT on 2015-07-15
Session date: 
July 15, 2015
Reference: 
2015/2215
Question By: 
Victoria Borwick
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

Will the Mayor confirm that he understands the importance of allowing councils to opt out of converting commercial premises to residential in order to maintain a mix and to continue to offer opportunities for local employment and encourage business growth?

Answer

Answer for Conversion of commercial premises

Answer for Conversion of commercial premises

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I strongly believe that key parts of London, including the Central Activities Zone (CAZ), must continue to be exempted from the changes to permitted development rights to allow office units to be converted to residential. The CAZ is a unique international centre of business in the UK and he strongly believes that it should continue to be protected from the permitted development right to help sustain London's office space. I am also concerned that this national initiative seems to have had a disproportionate effect on London as a whole, including on occupied office space, business and employment.

I also believe that extending permitted development rights to changes from industrial and warehousing to residential will lead to unwarranted increases to the cost of doing business, place constraints on business and industrial activities, and cause significant damage to the economy of London.