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Permitted Development Rights

Many of our clients have been asking how Permitted Development Rights will affect the London property market and whether it’s good news for Londoners, so we wanted co create a simple guide and highlight specific areas of interest for our clients and landlords. The rights were introduced by the Government in May 2013 and allow the development of offices into residential homes. It’s great news for developers, who can also take advantage of potential enhanced viability of schemes arising from such developments, which are popping up across London. Recently, for example, the Borough of Hounslow received an application to convert an 11-storey building into 139 flats, while the Borough of Islington is considering proposals to convert the 16-storey Archway Tower into 118 flats. These rights avoid the need for an express planning permission, but there are a number of significant qualifications, including: • The rights only apply to buildings used as an office immediately before 30 May 2013 or, if vacant, where its last use was as an office – and so vacant new offices are excluded • Only B1(a) offices can be converted and not office units within A2 financial or professional services, nor B1(b) or (c) offices i.e research and development or light industry respectively • Listed buildings and scheduled ancient monuments are excluded • Associated external physical development may still require planning permission The initiative has not been welcomed by everyone – councils can opt out of any planning application, should they wish. The rights don’t apply to buildings located in Exemption Areas and many councils have sought exemption, though with varying degrees of success. This restricts the potential of the scheme to ease the current housing stock shortage and in turn, the intended momentum created by the Government is being slowed. We are currently working with a number of developers on landmark buildings across the boroughs. If you are interested in talking more about Permitted Development do feel free to call our office and ask for myself, or our branch manager. Nick Goble, M.D, Winkworth Battersea, Clapham, Pimlico and Kennington Lettings and Management

Many of our clients have been asking how Permitted Development Rights will affect the London property market and whether it’s good news for Londoners, so we wanted co create a simple guide and highlight specific areas of interest for our clients and landlords.

The rights were introduced by the Government in May 2013 and allow the development of offices into residential homes. It’s great news for developers, who can also take advantage of potential enhanced viability of schemes arising from such developments, which are popping up across London. Recently, for example, the Borough of Hounslow received an application to convert an 11-storey building into 139 flats, while the Borough of Islington is considering proposals to convert the 16-storey Archway Tower into 118 flats.

These rights avoid the need for an express planning permission, but there are a number of significant qualifications, including:

• The rights only apply to buildings used as an office immediately before 30 May 2013 or, if vacant, where its last use was as an office – and so vacant new offices are excluded

• Only B1(a) offices can be converted and not office units within A2 financial or professional services, nor B1(b) or (c) offices i.e research and development or light industry respectively

• Listed buildings and scheduled ancient monuments are excluded

• Associated external physical development may still require planning permission

The initiative has not been welcomed by everyone – councils can opt out of any planning application, should they wish. The rights don’t apply to buildings located in Exemption Areas and many councils have sought exemption, though with varying degrees of success. This restricts the potential of the scheme to ease the current housing stock shortage and in turn, the intended momentum created by the Government is being slowed.

We are currently working with a number of developers on landmark buildings across the boroughs. If you are interested in talking more about Permitted Development do feel free to call our office and ask for myself, or our branch manager.

Nick Goble, M.D, Winkworth Battersea, Clapham, Pimlico and Kennington Lettings and Management

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