Permitted development office to residential made permanent
The Housing and Planning Office have announced today that the temporary rule to allow underused offices to be turned into homes (permitted development office to residential) will be made permanent. Temporary permitted development rights were first introduced in 2013 and allowed offices to be converted to new homes without having to apply for planning permission. This has allowed almost 4,000 conversions between April 2014 and June this year. These rights were set to expire on 30 May 2016 which caused great uncertainty within the industry. Today the Housing and Planning Minister, Brandon Lewis, announced that these permitted development rights will now be made permanent. The announcement follows a government consultation last summer seeking to expand permitted office to residential development rights to increase the rate of building new homes. Concerns were raised over the potential loss of commercial space. However, it is now understood that some areas remain exempt from the…
Welcome to Natasha!
Welcome to Natasha Giles who joined us last month as a Part II Architectural Assistant. Natasha received a distinction in her Masters from The University of Western Australia, is passionate about the environment and is apparently keen on fishing (she may find the latter a disappointment in London).
B1 to C3 ends in W1
Cryptic?. Let us explain: Rodić Davidson Architects are regularly asked to assist clients with change of use applications to convert offices (Use Class B1) into residential houses and apartments (C3). Over recent years we have undertaken many such projects in Westminster (W1 amongst other postcodes) a Borough that, uniquely in London, has not adopted a policy to restrict the loss of offices. Westminster’s policy is, however, to change. Recent research by the Westminster Property Association (WPA) suggests that 1/20th of office space has been lost in Westminster in the last four years – a total of half a million sq metres. The office loss equates to 7,631 homes being created in the converted space. Given Westminster’s average population density of two people per home, it means that £15,262 people have been housed – replacing the 78,000 employees who previously occupied the space and – one must presume – have moved…
Vacant Building Credit: Developers positioned to reap windfall profits
Rodic Davidson Architects are currently involved in a number of new-build apartment schemes where our clients look set to benefit from a recent, and very significant, change in planning policy. The new policy, quietly introduced by the government on 1st December 2014, is likely to provide windfall profits to those who are holding or acquiring vacant properties for redevelopment. ‘Vacant Building Credit’ applies where a building is brought back into any lawful use including where it will be demolished and replaced by a new building. The ‘credit’ effectively removes the floorspace of a vacant existing building from affordable housing calculations. This is a very significant change with immediate benefit to developers currently holding development premises to which affordable provision previously applied and also, we suspect, providing short term opportunities for acquisition before the policy becomes fully understood and factored into sale prices. The key change is that affordable housing contributions will now only apply…