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London Assembly Member for Harrow and Brent calls for rethink on office to flats conversion policy
A politician has called for a rethink over policy making it easier for developers to convert empty offices into flats.
London Assembly Member for Harrow and Brent Navin Shah yesterday proposed a motion calling on the Government to reverse the plans.
Measures to make converting offices into homes easier were brought in by the Government earlier this year to provide more housing.
He said: “Many local authorities are doing fantastic work regenerating their local high streets but this takes away their ability to make local decisions on what is best for their communities.
“We know there are better ways of getting housing than at the expense of jobs and growth. We recognise that our town centres must adapt in order to thrive and many local authorities are already doing this.
“It’s not right that they should not be allowed a say in what happens in their local communities.”
Mr Shah also says the measures will have a detrimental effect on high streets in London and it was a scheme “which trumpets localism whilst once again ignoring local concerns”.
Harrow The Hub Investments has made an application to Harrow Borough Council to convert two floors of offices in First National House, in College Road, into 24 apartments.
There have been a number of other plans submitted including Premier House in Wealdstone and Intershop House in Lowlands Road, Harrow.
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.
Earlier this year Harrow council, 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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