The owners of a central Brixton office block have applied to turn part of the building into 20 new flats.
Piano House, in Brighton Terrace, could see part of the ground to fourth floors, and the whole of the fifth floor, converted to residential use under the plan submitted to Lambeth council this month.
Bristol-based property development firm TCN UK want to convert the workspace into 10 one bedroom flats and 11 two-bed apartments.
Richard Pearce, director of TCN UK, told Brixton Blog that the company had an application to add both more housing and office space rejected by Lambeth council in 2011. Government policy was changed earlier this year, making it easier for developers to convert office spaces into flats.
He added: “We’re being blown about in the wind by policy here. I don’t want to lose any employment space but we’ve been forced to go down this route.
“We want to create a cool, vibrant space that offers both residential and office use.”
When asked whether any existing tenants of the building could be kicked out under the plans, Pearce said: “I’m not saying we can accommodate everyone, but we’ll try our hardest to.”
He added that he wanted to create a “New York-style” environment with a bar in the basement and shared space above. “We’re not building luxury apartments, but very cool homes,” he added.
Some have expressed concern that the move would see a loss of vital employment space in the town centre.
One objection, published on council’s website without an attribution, said: “The office space available at Piano House is very valuable to Brixton and is over subscribed with a waiting list.
“Surely any development that reduces this is not positive for Brixton centre, the location should be used for business to keep the centre going not yet more housing.”
The building is currently home to a number of small companies and organisations, including the youth marketing agency Livity and shared workspace the Piano Club. It is not known if any of the new homes will be designated as affordable housing.
The application for change of use was made on July 2 and consultation ends on July 26. For more details see the proposal here.