Government announce permitted development right changes

The government has announced further changes to permitted development rights, aimed at reducing red tape and making the planning process easier.

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, revealed the changes, which will look to increase housing supply by making it easier to convert certain business properties to residential use.

Casinos, distribution centres and storage facilities can now be turned into homes, while the government will also consider the case to extend office to residential development, which is already having a massive effect on demand for office space.

Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation supported the decision: “Making it easier for local authorities to repurpose buildings that are no longer used is an important part of creating thriving, vibrant communities.”

“We are not under any illusion that turning casinos and storage centres into homes will solve the housing crisis, but these new permitted development rights will be a useful tool in increasing the flexibility of local authorities and helping them to breathe lift back into under-used buildings.”

Alongside the alterations to change of use, it will also be easier for restaurants, leisure businesses and retailers to adapt their facilities to support click and collect services.

It remains to be seen how these changes will affect the demand for commercial property in UK, but considering last year’s changes to office to residential conversion raised concerns over a shortage of available property, we could see more strains placed on demand for commercial property.

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You can read the full government statement here.