As part of the Government’s drive to increase housing numbers, it has been announced that the temporary permitted development rights introduced in May 2013, allowing the conversion of offices into new homes without the need for planning permission, will now be made permanent.
These rights, which required prior approval of the local planning authority in respect of transport & highways impact and contamination & flood risks, had been due to expire on 30 May 2016.
All developments which have already obtained such approval will now have three years in which to implement the change of use.
The original rights allowed for the conversion of existing office buildings however, these rights are to be extended to also allow for the demolition of office buildings to make way for new build residential schemes (subject to ‘limitations’ yet to be confirmed).
Further permitted development rights will also enable conversion of some ‘sui generis’ properties and light industrial buildings to create new homes which, it is anticipated, will also require prior approval in respect of impact on neighbouring employment uses.