London Mayor Boris Johnson is to lobby for a blanket ban on new office-to-residential conversions in central London for schemes that don't have planning permission, it has emerged.
Councils across the country have until 22 February to state their case for exemption from the Coalition Government's temporary rule change, aimed at boosting the number of new homes by waiving current planning rules.
Several London authorities have already stated their intention to apply, and this week London deputy mayor for planning Sir Edward Lister confirmed that Johnson would seek an exemption for London's central activities zone, which stretches across the City of London, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Islington, Camden, Southwark and Lambeth.
According to Planning magazine, Johnson is understood to be "pretty relaxed" about office-to-residential schemes in other areas, apart from Canary Wharf, Old Street and Stockley Park, near Heathrow Airport.
It has become Southwark council leader Peter John's mantra: "This is the best borough, in the best city, in the best country in the…