Temporary office to residential permitted development rights to be made permanent

Last week the Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis announced that the temporary permitted development right introduced in May 2013 and due to expire in May 2016 to convert offices to residential is to be made permanent. This allows conversion of office premises to residential use, subject only to local authority prior approval of a limited range of matters.

I have been working with a number of developers in Dunstable who have carried out a conversion under this permitted development right and have provided a number of studios and 1 bedroom apartments which are desperately needed right now in Dunstable. The amount of jobs being created has attracted a large number of employees who all require housing in an area already suffering from a shortage of good quality rental property.

The B1(a) to C3 change was previously only to operate to a 30 May 2016 but now under the Housing and Planning Bill this will become permanent.   Office-to-residential conversions can proceed under PD rights, rather than a more detailed planning application having to be submitted, but will be subject to prior approval from the local authority in relation to flooding, highways, transport and contamination impacts.  

The new permitted development rights will also permit the demolition of office buildings and new buildings for residential use as well as enabling the change of use of light industrial buildings and laundrettes to new homes