Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis today (13 October 2015) 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. However, these rights were set to expire on 30 May 2016
Today, it was announced that these permitted development rights will now be made permanent. In addition those who already have permission will have 3 years in which to complete the change of use – ending potential uncertainty for developers.
Also announced was an extension of the rights to 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.
The precise details of these additional changes are yet to be provided, but all we know at the moment is that they will be subject to limitations and prior approval by the local planning authority…watch this space.