Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Markets work - so planners have to stop them!


Central London offices are being converted into homes:

“We have sold over 100 office buildings in Mayfair back into residential use in the past year,” said Peter Wetherell, founder of Mayfair estate agency Wetherell. “All the period office buildings that have been used as offices for 50 years are being turned back into homes.

“It’s the biggest thing going on in central London right now.”

Tim Worstall at the ASI thinks this is excellent:

It is of course the change in relative prices which is leading to the change of use. And of course without a price system we'd not be able to determine the relative demand (and the effectiveness of that demand) for the two potential uses of the properties.

What Tim doesn't spot is that the planners don't like this change happening.
A second London borough has launched a legal challenge against government legislation allowing developers to convert offices into flats without planning permission.
Lambeth Council has filed judicial review papers to Eric Pickles questioning his decision to deny Brixton town centre, Streatham town centre and the borough’s key industrial business areas exemption from the planning laws.

Lambeth joins Islington, Tower Hamlets, Richmond and Sutton is seeking exemptions from allowing permitted development rights for conversions from office to residential use. And the government has already removed those rights from properties across Kensington & Chelsea and the City of London.

Planners really don't like markets you know!



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