In a consultation document issued on 31st July, the government announced plans for further relaxations around the conversion of commercial property to residential use.
The two key proposals are in Section 2 of the Consultation document ("Reducing planning regulations to support housing, high streets and growth") and were as follows:
- to implement a permanent but refined "prior approval" regime for conversion of offices to residential use, currently due to expire at the end of May 2016;
- to introduce the similar "prior approval" regime for light industrial units (Use Class B1(c)) and storage and distribution bulidings (B8) and some sui generis uses such as laundrettes, casinos, amusement arcades and night-clubs.
Section 2 of the Consulation document is a good read for those familiarising themselves with the whole planning regime around use classes, General Permitted Development rights...