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Office to residential: the conversion kick

Words: Mark Smulian

It was hailed by ministers as a smart wheeze to create new homes, but has scrapping planning rules backfired? Critics say permitted development rights will rob the provinces of office space needed to create jobs as the economy picks up – and London boroughs are already rebelling. Mark Smulian reports

It is perhaps surprising that when the government introduces a policy for increasing the supply of homes, and admonishes local planning authorities for a lack of enthusiasm in its implementation, that almost a year later ministers have no idea how widely it has been used. Permitted development rights were introduced in May 2013 to allow the conversion of office premises to residential use........
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