FLATS could be created in the future out of an office block in Harrow town centre.
Sorbon Estates has informed Harrow Council it would like to reserve the right to turn the first to sixth floors of Congress House in Lyon Road – which used to house the Observer newspaper – into a mix of 54 one and two-bedroom flats.
The firm, based in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, said: “Sorbon Estates have no immediate plans to convert Congress House for other uses.
“We remain committed to our tenants there, having recently made significant improvements to the exterior and services within the building.
“The planning application, if granted, would enable us to make further investment in the building in the future, if and when appropriate.”
The company can make the conversion unopposed thanks to the extension to permitted development rights introduced this spring by the coalition government for an initial three year period.
It means a change of use of a premises from office to residential no longer requires planning permission as long as the applicant provides the council with prior notification, which Sorbon Estates did on July 1.