Liberal Democrats are seeking to retain the high quality offices we have in Dorking and to stop the conversion of the offices into new flats.
The conversions are happening as new planning rules introduced in 2013 mean that the conversions can take place without planning permission if the external facade of the building is not altered.
Once the conversions have happened, there are then fewer employees working in the town which results in people shopping in Dorking which, in turn, is threatening the viability of some local businesses.
The offices also are being converted into expensive residential units which many local residents cannot afford and as such the conversions are doing little to resolve the housing needs of long term local residents.
We recognise that some office conversions may be appropriate whilst others certainly are not. We believe that the planning authority is best placed to make this decision together with seeking the development of affordable housing units on each site.