Boris Johnson opposed to warehouse-to-home permitted development plans, report says

Out-Law News | 08 Sep 2014 | 5:03 pm | 1 min. read

Mayor of London Boris Johnson is likely to oppose UK government plans to permit the redevelopment of warehouses and light industrial buildings into homes without applying to local authorities for planning permission, according to a report in Planning Magazine .

The Department for Communities and Local Government launched a consultation last month into planning reforms, outlining proposals for a wide range of changes aimed at simplifying and speeding up the planning process. Among the proposed changes was a new right to allow buildings currently used as warehouses and light industrial units to be converted into homes, without the need for planning permission.

The proposed development right potentially conflicts with policies published in the 2011 London Plan, which are set to be retained in proposed alterations to the London Plan currently under consultation. The policies require the mayor of London to take an active role to "ensure a sufficient stock of land and premises to meet the future needs of different types of industrial and related uses in different parts of London", and to "plan, monitor and manage release of surplus industrial land".

According to the Planning Magazine report, deputy mayor for planning Sir Edward Lister has said that Boris Johnson is unlikely to support the government's plans to ease restrictions on the conversion of industrial units.

"While the mayor places a high priority on increasing housing output, he is likely to object to this proposals as he is determined to protect London's valuable industrial base," said Lister, according to the report. "He is firmly of the belief that policies are already in place to manage the release of surplus industrial land and that this proposal could jeopardise the existing supply of floorspace."

The government's technical consultation on planning is open until 26 September.