I’m delighted that the extension to permitted development rights for office-to-residential conversions is now official and that applicants will have three years to implement the change of use from the date of the prior approval (PropertyWeek.com).
Permitted development has made a significant contribution to London’s housing needs. Last year, with 519 units under construction, my company was responsible for the 16th-highest number of consented units under construction in Greater London, more than Crest Nicholson and other major housebuilders.
Criterion Capital, another developer that has taken advantage of permitted development, was eighth on the list, with 940 units under construction.
However, the introduction of Article 4 Directions will mean that many of the sites for which we obtained prior approval last year are now exempt from the rights. We urge the government to clarify the rules on what can be exempted, and to request that local authorities provide comprehensive evidence to support these exemptions.
The next London mayor will have their work cut out to meet the 50,000-homes-a-year target, and I believe that further deregulation is the answer. Next on the list is to enable student-type shared accommodation to be let to graduates/young professionals as well as students under sui generis.
Martin Skinner, CEO and founder, Inspired Asset Management