Offices to Homes Development Rights Extended
Temporary permitted development rights that have allowed offices to be converted into homes without planning permission have been made permanent, the government has announced.
The three-year permitted development rights were introduced in 2013 and have seen almost 4,000 office conversions go ahead. Planning Minister Brandon Lewis announced that the scheme, due to expire in May 2016, would be made permanent and would be extended to allow office buildings to be demolished in favour of new residential buildings. He also revealed that, in future, new permitted development rights will enable the change of use of light industrial buildings and launderettes to residential use.
Steve Catney, Partner at JHWalter, said, “The decision to extend permitted development from office to residential was not entirely unexpected, but to make it permanent and allow demolition of office buildings rather than enforce conversion of the existing structures, is a bold move by the Government. This will create significant opportunities for owners of office buildings and should aid housing supply especially in urban areas, but there is a worry that in some locations it might lead to the depletion of commercial building stock.”
Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis said:
“Today’s measures will mean we can tap into the potential of underused buildings to offer new homes for first-time buyers and families long into the future, breathing new life into neighbourhoods and at the same time protecting our precious green belt.”
If you would like to discuss how these planning reforms may affect your interests, please contact the JHWalter planning team on 01522 504359.