The Government has confirmed its intention to make permanent the permitted development right which allows the conversion of offices to residential without planning permission (subject to a ‘Prior Approval’ process). Schemes which currently have prior approval but are yet to be implemented will have until May 2019 to be completed.
The 17 ‘exemption areas’ will have until May 2019 to make an Article 4 Direction if they wish to continue determining planning applications for the change of use.
In a statement earlier this week, the Planning and Housing Minister Brandon Lewis also announced plans to broaden the permitted development rights such that the new permanent right would allow office buildings to be pulled down and replaced with new residential buildings.
In addition, new permitted development rights are to be introduced to enable the change of use of light industrial buildings and launderettes to new homes.