Planning changes to allow more offices to be converted into homes
The government is introducing new measures to allow more offices and other commercial buildings to be converted into homes.
Temporary permitted development rights were introduced in 2013. They made it possible to convert offices into homes without having to apply for planning permission. It led to 4,000 conversions being given the go-ahead between April 2014 and June this year.
The rights were due to expire on 30 May 2016 but the Housing and Planning Minister, Brandon Lewis, has announced that they are to be made permanent. Those who already have permission will have three years to complete the change of use – ending potential uncertainty for developers and enabling the easier provision of homes.
Mr Lewis said: “These 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.”
The government says it also wants developers to be allowed to demolish offices to build new homes, and to convert light industrial buildings and launderettes into homes, subject to certain conditions. It says it will provide further details later.
Please contact Hugh Beeley if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of planning and development.