Office-to-Residential Conversion Rules Made Permanent
Housing Minister Brandon Lewis announces new changes to the permitted development rights process.
Yesterday the government announced new changes to office-to-residential permitted development rights designed to deliver thousands of new homes after stating that “almost 4,000 conversions were given the go-ahead between April 2014 and June this year” under the existing temporary rights.
Housing Minister Brandon Lewis announced that these temporary permitted development rights, which were introduced in 2013 and originally due to expire in May 2016, will now be made permanent. He added that the rights will in future allow the demolition of office buildings to make way for new residential development although prior approval will be required and further details are still awaited on the limitations that will be imposed.
Those who already have permission under the temporary rules will be pleased by the clarification that they now have three years in which to complete that change of use, rather than having to do so by May 2016.
Those areas of towns and cities which are currently exempt from the office to residential permitted development rights will continue to be exempt until May 2019. Local Authorities will need to have made an Article 4 direction by this date if they wish to continue determining planning applications for the change of use.
It was also announced that permitted development rights are to be taken a step further by also allowing light industrial buildings and launderettes to be converted into new homes.
We expect many further details to be released over the coming weeks and months following this initial announcement and should you wish to know more about how the changes could affect you please do not hesitate to contact us.