It's "office"ial! Office to resi permitted development rights here to stay

It's "office"ial! Office to resi permitted development rights here to stay
The government has recently confirmed that certain permitted development rights (PDRs) enabling offices to be converted into new homes - originally intended to be a temporary measure - will now be made permanent, with further PDRs to follow.
This will be a welcome announcement for developers who no longer need to complete such conversions by May 2016, but may result in additional work - without fees - for local planning authorities (LPAs).

What changes have been announced?

Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis has announced new measures that will make it easier to turn underused office buildings into new homes, namely:

  • to make permanent, temporary permitted development rights to enable offices to be converted to new homes without having to apply for planning permission. The temporary rights were introduced in May 2013 and were set to expire on 30 May 2016
  • those who already have permission to convert offices into residential will have three years in which to complete the change of use
  • in future, to allow the demolition of office buildings and new building for residential use, subject to limitations and prior approval by the LPA
  • to introduce new permitted development rights to enable the change of use of light industrial buildings and launderettes to new homes, subject to prior approval by the LPA

Why are the changes being mad

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About the author:

Jen is a solicitor specialising in planning law. She has experience in relation to a range of planning topics, including environmental impact assessment, section 106 agreements, highways orders, compulsory purchase, freedom of information issues, inquiries, judicial review, the Localism Act 2011, the National Planning Policy Framework and major infrastructure projects. After qualifying at Ashurst, Jen worked at Bevan Brittan and subsequently at CMS Cameron McKenna as an associate in the planning team. She worked as an external author for LexisPSL before joining the team in November 2010. She has written for a variety of legal publications, including the New Law Journal, Utilities Week, Planning Resource and The Lawyer. Jen regularly appears on Talking Law videocasts providing legal updates on planning law.