Figures reveal uptake on controversial permitted development rights

Out-Law News | 03 Oct 2014 | 4:51 pm |

New figures published on Thursday by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) provide an insight into the uptake of permitted development rights that enable redundant office buildings to be turned into new homes. 

The data shows that there were 1,900 applications received by councils in the last quarter and 900 approved during the same period.

However, of the 1,068 decisions on applications for prior approval for office to residential conversions in the second quarter, 203 (19%) were refused.  According to the data, nine London boroughs were in the top ten districts to have decided the most office to residential prior approval applications in the second quarter of 2014.  Brighton and Hove was the only council outside London listed in the top ten.

The figures also show the uptake of new permitted development rights for homeowners, which have given people more power to extend their homes without having to apply for planning permission. The figures show that between April and June 7,700 applications for home extensions were received of which only 14.7% were refused.

Housing and planning minister, Brandon Lewis said: "[The] figures show how thousands of homeowners are now able to make improvements to their properties without having to negotiate excessive red tape and bureaucracy. On top of this, offices that once stood empty have been transformed to help deliver much-needed new homes for communities while maintaining green belt protections."