Office conversion rules to be eased imminently says FT
A story in the Financial Times published on Monday says that a move to make it easier to convert offices to residential use by relaxing planning controls is about to be implemented. The article says
The Financial Times has learnt that planning minister Nick Boles will announce a new “permitted development right”, whereby many offices can be turned into residential properties without any permission. The changes will not, however, apply to shops or warehouses.
The changes reflect a reported 21% vacancy rate in offices. The changes would mean that the varoius costs associated iwth gaining planning permission would be avoided - not least the need to provide affordable housing in schemes over a certain size. The City of London is likely to be exempt but other parts of London might see signifcant rates of conversion. The article quotes residential values of £3,000 per square foot in the West End of London compared with £2,375 for offices.
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