News

Proposed changes to converting offices to residential use

October 15, 2015 2:59 pm

The Government recently announced new measures making it easier to turn underused office buildings into new homes.

The move will provide thousands of new homes, making  best use of existing buildings including some that are underused and neglected – while at the same time protecting the green belt.

First introduced in 2013, temporary permitted development rights have enabled offices to be converted to new homes without having to apply for planning permission. It has meant that between April 2014 and June this year, almost 4,000 conversions were given the go-ahead.

However, these rights were set to expire on 30 May 2016 – potentially introducing a raft of unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy that would have hampered the conversion of underused office buildings and slowed down the delivery of thousands of new homes.

These permitted development rights will now be made permanent. In addition those who already have permission will have three years in which to complete the change of use – ending potential uncertainty for developers and enabling the development of much needed homes.

To further support the delivery of new homes, the rights will in future allow the demolition of office buildings and new building for residential use as well as enabling the change of use of light industrial buildings and launderettes to new homes.

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