Planning and housing minister Brandon Lewis has at long last put the industry out of its misery regarding this extremely helpful regeneration initiative by announcing that the previously temporary office to residential PD rights due to lapse in May 2016 will be made permanent. This initiative will also now allow office buildings to be demolished and replaced with new residential buildings and, for those who already benefit from permission to convert office to residential under the existing temporary PD rights, a period of three years to complete the change of use.
The industry is also applauding the minister’s commitment to extend this initiate to also allow a PD change of use for light industrial buildings and launderettes, to residential.
Areas currently exempt from these PD rights will have until May 2019 to make further Article 4 directions where planning authorities wish to see such changes subject to planning control.
This has yet to become law but our contact within DCLG suggests that secondary legislation will be placed on the stature books within the next few months with little to no risk that the new legislation will not be confirmed.

John Foddy