Islington Council has expressed concern that the new flats may be unaffordable and below basic space standards. They are preparing, along with several other London Boroughs, to mount a legal challenge to new legislation that permits developers to change offices to dwellings without the approval of residents and local authorities. There have already been 27 prior approval cases in Islington since the law changed in May 2013, resulting in the loss of almost 17,000 square metres of office floorspace, an area in which some 1,400 people could work. In some cases, says the Council, small businesses and charities have been evicted.
Councillor James Murray, Islington’s executive member for housing, claims “Developers have already begun to exploit this, with the iconic Archway Tower on the verge of having a large number of small, substandard bedsits squashed into it, with no affordable housing at all. We are determined to fight this and I am glad that we have the support of many other boroughs in bringing this important legal challenge.” There is an article on the subject on the BBC website