Council bid to stop housing law

Lambeth Council has launched a new legal challenge against Government legislation allowing offices in employment generating areas being turned into flats.

Relaxed planning laws a 'threat' to Lambeth high streets

Lambeth Council has launched a legal challenge against the Government over rules that allow offices to be turned into flats.

The relaxed planning regulations are designed to ease the pressure on the housing market. But Lambeth councillors say that business and employment in the borough will struggle as landlords begin to convert office space into homes.

Ria Chatterjee reports:

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Planning law changes allow offices turned into flats

Lambeth Council has launched a legal challenge over the Government's regulations that allow offices to be turned into flats.

The judicial review concerns the Government's Amendment to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

According to the act:

  • Recent amendment to the Town and Country Planning Act. This makes it much easier to turn offices into flats.
  • Planning permission is no longer needed to change offices into flats.
  • Lambeth Council asked for Brixton, Streatham and other key industrial areas around the borough to be exempt from the changes.
  • The exemption was denied.

Landlords have 'free reign' to turn flats into offices

New housing regulations could harm trade, Lambeth Councillor Pete Robbins said today, after the council launched a judicial review against Government legislation allowing offices in employment generating areas being turned into flats.

The Cabinet Member for Housing and Regeneration, said:

Landlords in Brixton and Streatham have been handed a free reign to turn offices into flats - it's simply unacceptable.

The new regulations could harm trade in these key areas and raise the prospect of job losses, lost business rates and reduced funding for infrastructure.

Lambeth launches bid to stop offices turned into flats

General view of the Old Mutual offices on the 5th floor of 2 Lambeth Hill in London. Credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Lambeth Council has launched a new legal challenge against Government legislation allowing offices in employment generating areas being turned into flats.

The council argue that other boroughs, such as Kensington and Chelsea applied to have their whole borough exempt and succeeded - yet Lambeth has been left at a severe disadvantage by having their key business areas undermined by landlords who now want to turn offices into flats.