In London a number of different things have been done to encourage the construction of homes. Amongst these was the decision to allow more offices to be transformed into residential properties. In many cases these conversions are covered under permitted development rights, allowing owners to make the change without having to obtain planning permission.
Hounslow Council recently released plans to overturn these rights. They have seen an issue with the projects, namely the fact that developers are increasingly preferring to opt for residential conversion rather than leaving offices. This causes issues for businesses, particularly in affluent areas in the Borough. The shortage of space results in companies having to relocate.
According to the latest estimates over 151,000 square metres of office space will be needed in the Borough by 2030. This number will rise even further if more existing offices are turned into residential properties.
The removal of permitted development rights for this kind of project means Hounslow Council will have more control over the planning process. As a result they will be able to decide which projects can go ahead and which properties need to be left as offices.
The permitted development rights are not being withdrawn from the entire Borough though. Hounslow Council has earmarked a number of key employment zones where office space is needed. Projects in these locations will need to apply for planning permission.
The new rules will come into effect in 12 months time. The wait is designed to prepare property owners in the key employment zones for potential losses of value due to reduced opportunities. This could result in a wave of developments being put forward whilst the rights still remain.
At Finefair we offer an array of services in Hounslow including guaranteed rent and investment advice. We will be on hand to help clients who are concerned about the impact of the news above. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us. We can assist with weighing up the options and planning a strategy.