Outgoing planning minister Lord Falconer has given a boost to the prospects of building above petrol stations and supermarkets.
Falconer, who was appointed a Home Office minister in last week's ministerial reshuffle, said its potential had yet to be fully exploited.

Speaking at a meeting of 50 top developers, retailers and housing associations, Falconer said: "The scale of our housing needs in London means that we need to say goodbye to the surface car park and the single-storey building as a sensible use of land."

Building revealed in January that petrol company Texaco had ambitious plans to build homes and shops above its service stations.

Texaco aims to develop retail, housing and office hubs at 10 London filling stations that, if successful, will be copied at another 150 sites. The biggest of the pilot schemes is a £35m riverside tower on the Albert Embankment, designed by Assael Architects.