New measures to make it easier to turn office buildings into homes

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

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. Mr Lewis has now announced that these permitted development rights will 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.

In addition, new permitted development rights will enable the change of use of light industrial buildings and launderettes to new homes.

Those areas that are currently exempt from the office to residential permitted development rights will have until May 2019 to make an Article 4 direction if they wish to continue determining planning applications for the change of use.

Author: DCLG and Brandon Lewis MP

Date of publication: 13/10/15

This item updates DCP section 4


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