David Cameron announced today that permitted development rights allowing Office to Residential conversions, introduced in 2013, are to be made permanent.
The rights were due to expire in May 2016 and, as drafted, the permitted development order left a great deal of ambiguity over how schemes that were part-finished when the rights expired, were to be treated.
Today's announcement will come as a great relief to developers who are part-way through conversion schemes.
Details of the extended rights have yet to be revealed. We do not know whether any of the changes to the regulations, which the government consulted on last summer, will be introduced.
That said, it seems likely given the housing pressure in London, that as least some of the London borough exemptions may be removed when the rights are made permanent.
In other boosts for house building today, the PM is also announcing that a temporary rule introduced in May 2013 allowing people to convert disused offices into homes without applying for planning permission will be made a permanent change – after almost 4,000 conversions were given the go ahead between April 2014 to June this year.