Office-to-Resi Delay

Posted on Friday, July 24, 2015

Updated on Friday, July 24, 2015

There could be enough vacant office space in London to provide 10,000 residential units and enough outside it to provide 30,000 units. If the recommendations of the DCLG’s Technical Consultation on Planning are realised we could see light industrial, storage & distribution buildings, casinos, nightclubs and even launderettes benefiting from Permitted Development Rights. (source Estates Gazette http://www.estatesgazette.com/egi-about/london-residential/permitted-development-rights/)

However, the government has been forced to delay plans to extend office to residential permitted development rights (PDR) amid further opposition from councils concerned about the loss of office stock.

Only last week, communities secretary Greg Clark said the government would shortly announce the “continuation” of the office-to-resi PDR, which is set to expire in May 2016, and an announcement had been expected before Wednesday’s parliamentary recess. Under the proposal, current exemptions for central London boroughs were also expected to have been wiped away, meaning councils worried about the loss of office stock would have had to make a case for Article 4 Directions, which would exempt them from the policy.

But these require approval of the secretary of state and as this process can take up to a year the mayor of London, alongside lobby groups the London Forum and London Councils, as well as central London boroughs, including Westminster, lobbied the government to redraft the statutory instrument to ensure councils would be given time to put together their case for an Article 4 exemption.

The statutory instrument extending the PDR may now not be introduced until parliament returns in September.

Full article from Property Week