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The South West Specialists

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Office to residential Permitted Development Right to be welcomed by developers


On Monday 12th October the Government announced the temporary permitted development right introduced in May 2013 is now a permanent change.  This allowed for the conversion of office premises (B1) to residential use (C3), without the need for planning permission.

The controversial policy, accused by some planning authorities of impacting on much needed employment space and driving up rentals, will be welcomed by developers who will no longer be rushed to complete conversions by the originally set deadline date of May 2016. 

Greg Oldrieve, Head of Development Services at Vickery Holman, says “With the values that can be realised through office to residential conversion, I’m sure this news will be welcomed by developers. However, knowing what sites to target and understanding the obstacles that exist will be vital in ensuring financial viability of projects. 

Whilst this announcement doesn’t come as a surprise, what is still unclear is how the policy will evolve and how local councils will react.  This reinforces the need for expert advice and local knowledge at every stage, from assessing development potential, through to support with building control and project monitoring”