Many firms want to take advantage of London office space. After all, the capital is a major business hub and there are considerable advantages associated with being based there.
However, the availability of commercial premises in the city may fall if government plans go ahead. The coalition administration intends to enable developers to convert offices into housing without planning permission. This could see central London lose up to a quarter of its office space.
During a recent meeting of the London Assembly’s Planning Committee, Sue Terpilowski, London policy chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses, warned that the proposals would make it economically unviable for many small companies to survive in London because of inflated rents and business rates.
It is important to note that 29 out of 32 London boroughs have applied for some sort of exemption to the rules. According to John Lett, principle planner at the Greater London Authority, without the exemptions as much as four million square meters of office space would be at risk in central London.
Also commenting on the plans, chair of the planning committee Nicky Gavron AM said: “I’m really concerned by what the committee heard today. There are better ways of getting new housing supply than at the expense of small businesses and much needed jobs.
“The planning system already gives councils the tools they need to convert offices into housing when it’s appropriate.”
To ensure they are able to find the best office space to rent, many bosses now head online to peruse their options.