Section: Planning

Over 18,000 affordable houses lost in office-to-residential conversions

Posted 09.05.22
Local Government Association: Further reading

More than 18,000 affordable houses have been lost as a result of office-to-residential conversions under permitted development, the Local Government Association (LGA) warns.

The LGA, which represents 350 councils in England and Wales, said that permitted development rights should be removed to ensure all conversions and new developments contribute to the delivery of desperately needed affordable homes across the country.

It also says that developments that go through the planning system are subject to more stringent quality assurance, subsequently improving the overall quality of housing on offer, a key priority in the Levelling Up White Paper.

Cllr David Renard, housing spokesperson for the LGA, said:

"There is a need for more affordable housing across the country but regrettably premises such as offices, agricultural buildings, shops, restaurants and light industry can now be converted into houses without the need to provide any affordable homes.

"This is why we would like to see the permitted development rights removed."

A total of 73,575 new houses have been converted from offices under permitted development rights, where full planning permission is not required, since 2015.

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Edited by Mike Skilton



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Reporting on May 2022

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