London Mayor to protect offices 3rd June 2016

London mayor Sadiq Khan has pledged to protect workspaces for small businesses and start-ups through a range of new measures aimed at supporting London's next generation of entrepreneurs.

According to City Hall figures, over 1.47m sq m of office space has been converted into residential units in London since 2013 under so called permitted development rights, which allow for change of use to take place without planning permission. 

This means space for nearly 94,000 jobs in London could be lost through this process.

Khan's measures will include amending the London Plan so that there is stronger protection for small businesses and start-up workspace.

Changes to city's key planning doctrine will also include promoting developments that combine affordable housing and business space.

Introducing changes to London Plan is a lengthy process but it is understood that City Hall will look at producing supplementary planning guidance that can be worked on the interim.

Khan also intends to lobby the government to amend the permitted development rights so that core areas in the capital are protected. 

Khan, said: “There clearly needs to be more control over where office space can be converted to residential use. Over the next four years, I will be working to build the thousands of affordable houses we need in London at the same time as increasing the good quality space available for small business, start-ups and entrepreneurs. This is just one of the many pro-business measures I’ll be setting out in the coming months.”

He added: "Of course we need new homes, but this does not need to be at the expense of the space we need for the businesses that provide our jobs and drive our prosperity."