Changes to government planning regulations mean Hammersmith and Fulham could lose office space equivalent to six Wembley football pitches.
Analysis of figures from the London Development Database show the borough would be down 43,359 square metres after the government relaxed planning rules on the conversion of offices into residential properties.
Now Labour London Assembly Member Murad Qureshi has warned the policy undermines London’s economy and could “result in tiny sub-standard housing which fails to serve the needs of Londoners”.
The relaxed rules make it possible for developers to convert properties without the need for planning permission, with councils only given a veto if the proposed development fails to meet the most basic conditions.
The data revealed that between May 2013 and March 2015 in London there were 2,806 proposals to convert office space into residential property under the permitted development rights.
With more than 2,000 applications already approved, approximately 1,094,550sq m of floor space will be lost, the equivalent of 153 Wembley Stadium football pitches. It also showed 126 of 179 applications were approved in Hammersmith and Fulham, resulting in a loss of 43,359sq m.
'This isn't the way to solve the housing crisis'
Mr Qureshi has warned that the reforms could result in sub-standard housing, with developers allowed to “ride roughshod” over important environmental and disability standards.
Under the rules the converted housing does not need to meet vital space standards or meet affordable housing requirements.
He said: “Seeing businesses turfed out of offices and other employment spaces across Hammersmith and Fulham will do nothing to help our local economy. Nor will allowing developers to ride roughshod over planning standards solve the housing crisis.
“Yes, we need to solve the housing crisis but this isn’t the way to do it. What this policy does is rob our local community of an opportunity to deliver the developments suitable to our neighbourhoods. This can result in tiny sub-standard housing which fails to serve the needs of local people.
“The considerable loss of affordable workspace comes as a huge blow to local start-ups and small business, putting local jobs at risk. This is a hugely flawed policy, it’s baffling that the Mayor isn’t fighting these changes.”