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Harrow Labour group raises concerns over offices to flat conversions
Councillors say the wave of proposals to convert office blocks across the borough into flats could kill communities in town centres.
A total of 21 conversions have been given the go-ahead by Harrow Borough Council and more than 280 flats are to be built in office blocks across Harrow.
Harrow Labour says the borough’s vibrant town centres are simply being turned into residential areas.
They also say local businesses and communities are being killed off - all so developers can make profits.
Cllr Bob Currie, Labour's shadow member for housing, said: “This absurd policy is allowing developers to make huge amounts of money by forcing out businesses, and only offering shockingly poor housing.
He says the consequence will be job losses and “local residents being forced to pay over the odds to live in cramped housing”.
Measures to make converting offices into homes easier were brought in by the Government last year to provide more housing and to help tackle the housing shortage in London.
The Harrow Times has already reported on concerns from the Campaign for a Better Harrow Environment over the number of proposals in the borough.
The group claims local councils and residents are to have no say in plans and the conversions would create problems for people living in them.
Harrow council last year, along with almost every other outer London borough, asked the Secretary of State to make it exempt from these changes but the request was denied.
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