PD Rights set to be more restrictive for Office to Residentials Conversations

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18 August, 2021

Matthew Jones

The planning laws are there to monitor what can and can't be built in certain areas to keep within the local policy and that of the country as a whole. Permitted development rights are, to some degree self-explanatory, as they are those rules that allow certain aspects of development to progress without some or all of the application of the more ridged elements of planning law.

Taking existing buildings and converting them has always been an attractive proposition to some developers, and since the original legislative change in 2013 over 65,000 properties have been converted from commercial to residential. The permitted development aspect of this look set to tighten in the coming months, with the government looking to try and bring large scale office block conversations to an end.

The most recent relevant development for conversations concern the rules governing those changes from category "E" to "C3 (Residential)"

The immediate change is from 1 August 2021 the existing right to convert an office of unlimited size to residential will terminate. From this date onwards a conversion under PD will have to be done under the new 'class MA' which has a maximum limit of 1,500sqm (16,146 sqft) per building

Additionally, the introduction of a rule requiring the commercial premises to be demonstrably vacant for 3 months before the date of apparition has been introduced, and the building needs to have been used for class E for at least 2 years before the application

Whilst we will continue to see growth in this area, developers will need to adapt to these new requirements

For more information contact Matthew Jones in our Commercial Property department via email or phone on 01254 222316. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

Learn more about our Commercial Property department here

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