Linked article iconRedundant office blocks to be turned into rental homes

New rules have gone through, making it possible to convert disused offices into homes without planning permission.

The Department for Communities and Local Government said: “New permitted development rights will enable offices to be converted to homes. This is an opportunity for office owners and developers to bring outdated and underused buildings back to life and create much-needed new housing.”

These rules have been on the cards for a while now and are brought in by The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2013 and apply to England only. They take effect on 30 May 2013 and allow for a number of permitted developments (certain developments which are specifically excluded from requiring planning permission).

These permitted developments include a change of use from offices to dwellings and agricultural buildings to shops, cafes, storage or hotels (amongst others) and there are also amendments to home extension provisions.

Most of these provisions are for 2 or 3 years only and so many of the developments must be completed by 30 May 2016. Although planning may not be required, there are a number of conditions and restrictions attached to the rules so each situation will need to be considered and the rules consulted.