Stephen Knight, Liberal Democrat London Assembly economic spokesperson, commenting on today’s announcement on permitted development rights for office buildings said:
“I am shocked at the Mayor of London’s enthusiastic support for these changes.
“The announcement might keep in place respite for the City of London and the London Central Activities Zone, but it will force businesses out of London’s many town centres, especially in outer London.
“The big picture that the Mayor is ignoring is that permitted development rights are now being made permanent, when instead the whole policy should have been stopped. No longer will developers have to provide affordable housing at part of their schemes.
“It was regrettable that planning powers were ever taken away from London Boroughs leading to commercial sites being able to convert to residential use without any need to seek planning permission or provide affordable homes. The policy is leading to town centres having businesses and jobs ripped out of them by homes that don’t require planning permission so are often lacking in minimum standards, let alone providing any affordable homes, or other social infrastructure such as schools.
“London needs more homes but this policy is certainly not the answer. Driving up the cost of property and reducing opportunities for new businesses and jobs is the last thing the capital needs.”
Notes to editors:
1. Details of today’s Government announcement:
2. The Mayor of London’s statement on today’s Government announcement: