Are Communities Missing Out Due to Office Conversions?

Recent research by the Local Government Association (LGA) suggests that because of permitted development rules, communities may have lost out on over 13,500 affordable homes in the last four years. Office conversions carried out under these rules mean that they can be converted into housing without being subject to a planning application. 

Concerns have been raised by many organisations, including the LGA, that the result is communities which miss out on the opportunity to ensure that these developments are of a high quality, guarantee that supporting infrastructure such as schools and health services are in place, or that affordable homes are provided.

The LGA has highlighted the government’s latest figures, which show that since 2015, there were 54,162 new homes converted from offices under permitted development in England. They estimate that this has potentially resulted in the loss of 13,540 affordable homes.

Nationally, homes converted from offices under permitted development equates to around 6 per cent of all new homes.

“Serious concerns remain over the high numbers of homes which continue to be converted from offices without planning permission. Permitted development rules are resulting in the alarming potential loss of thousands of desperately needed affordable homes.”

 – David Renard, Housing Spokesman for the LGA

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