In a speech earlier today, Brandon Lewis provided more detail on the new permanent office to residential permitted development rights, which are shortly to make their way to the statute books.
The key points to note are as follows:
- Developers making use of the current permitted development rights will have three years from 30 May 2016 to complete their schemes;
- The new, permanent, rights will include the ability to demolish old office buildings and build bespoke residential dwellings in their place;
- The new rights will also include light industrial buildings and launderettes; and
- The list of exempt areas will be withdrawn, but not until May 2019. This will give the relevant local authorities time to exclude the new rights, by making Article 4 Directions, before the exemptions cease.
Today, Mr Lewis announced that these permitted development rights will now be made permanent. In addition those who already have permission will have 3 years in which to complete the change of use – ending potential uncertainty for developers and enabling the development of much needed homes. To further support the delivery of new homes, the rights will in future allow the demolition of office buildings and new building for residential use. In addition, new permitted development rights will enable the change of use of light industrial buildings and launderettes to new homes.