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Turning shops into homes could be disastrous warns council – South London News

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By Julia Gregory, native democracy reporter

A authorities proposal that some shops could be reworked could result in “wholesale lack of massive flagship retail shops from key procuring locations”  resembling Oxford Street, a council has warned.

Pre pandemic Westminster was  value £63m  of gross worth added to the UK financial system.

A Westminster City Council report has warned {that a} lack of restrictions on the forms of buildings that could be turned into homes could see massive shops disappearing within the world-famous procuring vacation spot  Oxford Street or others “of our distinctive excessive streets”.

The pandemic has seen the lack of  shops together with Topshop’s flagship retailer in Oxford Street.

If the planning overhaul meant class E buildings resembling shops, eating places, gyms and medical centres could be turned into  100 per cent  residential schemes.

It “would hurt, somewhat than improve, the vitality and viability of our city centres, a few of that are of worldwide significance,” warned strategic planning officer Oliver Gibson.

And the council feared it could additionally herald wholesale lack of massive workplace floorplates from components of the central exercise zone (CAZ) resembling within the West End, Paddington or Victoria.

And the report warned that an uncontrolled lack of  floor ground shops in Westminster’s worldwide, main, district and native procuring centres  could lead “to a lack of total business character and performance and an erosion of their vitality and viability.”

Council officers consider that the largest impacts could be in native and district centres outdoors the CAZ “the place the offset between business and residential property values is usually larger.”

In response to the federal government session Westminster Council argued that “a-one-size-fits-all method has no regard to the distinctive function of a lot of Westminster” to the financial system.

It mentioned the realm  supplies jobs for Londoners and commuters within the south east and past, and attracts in customer spend from home and worldwide tourism.

It mentioned the plan “fails to recognise that the dimensions and mixture of mutually supportive business makes use of within the CAZ is not like wherever else within the nation, and that the West End is a world image of London and the UK’s success.

It additionally “fails to recognise that the procuring, leisure and tourism provide in Knightsbridge additionally performs a major function within the attractiveness of the capital to guests.”

It urged the federal government to herald a rule limiting the variety of new homes in former class E buildings to 10 and implement a minimal time they  are vacant earlier than they could be  turned into homes.

The authorities plans to herald the modifications in July 2021.


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