England: In a statement made yesterday, the Government has announced that the temporary permitted development right allowing the change of use of offices to residential dwellings will definitely now be made permanent.
Further details have been provided today in the form of a statement by Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis. In it we learn that those schemes which already have permission (prior notice approval) will be given 3 years to complete the change of use. This 3 year limit also seems to apply to new prior approvals.
The currently exempted areas will continue to enjoy that exemption until May 2019. This is in order to allow the local authorities to consider making an Article 4 direction to remove the rights and require a planning application for any proposed change of use.
But the minister’s statement goes further than many were expecting hinting that in the future the rights will be extended beyond change of use to allow the demolition of office buildings and new building for residential use. We will have to await how that is introduced.
Also new permitted development rights, subject to prior approval, for the change of use of light industrial buildings and launderettes to residential use will be introduced. Again we await the details to “be provided in due course”.
Many developers rushing through conversion schemes before May next year can breath a sigh of relief. If you have any queries on this then contact the Pure Town Planning team.