Council 'powerless' to stop town hall being turned into flats

Tower Hamlets council's current Mulberry Place headquarters

Mayor’s anger as permitted development gets uncomfortably close to home

The owner of an east London town hall has secured approval to convert it into 200 homes without the need for planning permission – to the fury of the borough’s elected mayor.

Tower Hamlets council, which has been particularly vocal on the issue of office-to-resi conversions, is powerless to act because the project falls within the scope of permitted development.

The council is due to vacate the eight-storey 1990s Docklands office block it currently leases as its HQ in four years’ time, when it will move into a new base at the former Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel. AHMM won planning permission for that project in March.

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