A fire station which was shut down by Boris Johnson when he was Mayor of London has been given to go-ahead to be converted into luxury flats.
Belsize Fire Station in Camden was one of 10 fire stations which were closed by Johnson during his time as mayor as part of plans to cut-costs in the capital.
The station was closed in 2014 after more than 100 years in service despite protests from the council, who urged Johnson back in 2013 to reconsider "his own draconian cuts to the emergency services on which we rely to keep Londoners safe".
The Camden New Journal is now reporting that Land Registry documents reveal that Vulcan Property Ltd have paid £7.8m to convert the Grade-II listed Belsize fire station building into 16 flats and two affordable homes following years of proposals.
The planning permission for the re-development of the fire station was said to have been met with no objections and passed through the planning department meeting. The committee reportedly welcomed the move because it would provide two affordable homes and would "preserve the special interest of the currently vacant Grade II-listed heritage asset".
During a planning meeting in September, Cllr Flick Rea said "it is patently clear that we did actually need this fire station".
In October 2015, the closure was blamed for the death of a man in his 80s who jumped to his death after getting caught in a flat fire on Camden Road. The neighbour of the victim said cuts had meant firefighters from the now-nearest station of Kentish Town were too busy elsewhere to tackle the blaze in time.
In March 2016, a house situated a 20-second drive from Belsize burned down with the owner telling the Camden New Journal "there is not even a conversation about" whether it would have been saved had the station stayed open.
Elsewhere, Political Scrapbook reports that one of the directors of Vulcan Property Ltd, William Richard Woodward-Fisher, previously made a £2000 donation to a Conservative association in 2005.