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Employment, Planning, Regeneration

Lambeth Council takes on Government in bid to protect jobs

Lambeth Council has launched a new legal challenge against Government legislation allowing offices in employment generating areas being turned into flats.

Judicial Review papers have been filed by the council on the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

They call for Brixton town centre, Streatham town centre and the borough’s key industrial business areas to be exempt from the relaxed planning rules.

Cllr Pete Robbins, Cabinet Member for Housing and Regeneration, said: “Landlords in Brixton and Streatham have been handed a free reign to turn offices into flats – it’s simply unacceptable.

“The new regulations could harm trade in these key areas and raise the prospect of job losses, lost business rates and reduced funding for infrastructure.”

The Judicial Review highlights Lambeth council’s concern that there was a lack of transparency around deciding which areas to exempt from this legislation.

Cllr Robbins said: “Based on the information provided, it is impossible to understand how the Government could have exempted residential areas in places such as Kensington and Chelsea, while ignoring the value to our local economy of Brixton and Streatham.”

Judicial Review papers were received by the Government this week and the council is now waiting to hear back from the department’s solicitors.

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