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Let Preston Bennett Planning help increase the value of your commercial property today!

10th May 2013

The Government has formally announced that proposed amendments to Permitted Development Rights will come into effect on 30 May 2013. In an effort to stimulate the housing market whilst making use of underutilised commercial resources, these amendments will specifically allow for the conversion of B1 office space to residential use. These Rights will initially apply for a period of three years.

The potential benefit to landlords is immense! If the cost of conversion is reasonable and does not outweigh the uplift in value, this could open the door for landlords to seek conversion without the requirement for full planning permission. As prior approval will still be required from the Local Planning Authority in respect to traffic and highways and contamination and flooding, Preston Bennett Planning is on hand to provide comprehensive assistance throughout the process.

Having considered applications from a significant number of boroughs seeking exemptions for individual buildings, roads or zones, areas in only 17 boroughs have been granted exemption from the Rights. These include the City of London and the London boroughs of Camden, Islington, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Southwark, Lambeth, Wandsworth, Westminster, Newham, and Kensington and Chelsea.

Also exempt are the Vale of the White Horse in Oxfordshire, Stevenage in Hertfordshire, Ashford and Sevenoaks (both in Kent), East Hampshire, and Manchester City Council.

If the prior approval process is unsuccessful, a development will not be considered Permitted Development and therefore planning permission will still be required:

•at the excluded locations referred to above;

•if the building was not used as B1(a) offices immediately before 30 May 2013 or (if vacant) that was not the last use (comment: this is to stop changes of use of other buildings to offices specifically to benefit from these new Rights);

•if the change of use begins after 30 May 2013 (comment: this is secures the three year period of this change to Permitted Development Rights);

•if the site is or forms part of a safety hazard area and/or military explosives storage area;

•if the building is a listed building or a scheduled monument.

If development is considered acceptable under Permitted Development, there are no requirements in the amended Order to secure affordable housing, fulfil Section 106 or CIL liabilities, or to accord with any minimum internal space standards. 

If you’d like to see if these Rights are applicable to you, contact Preston Bennett Planning today to see how we can help you maximise the value of your building.

Nick Stafford, Preston Bennett Planning 

020 8954 7733

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