It shouldn’t come as a surprise that there is still great demand for housing in London, and in the UK in general. An increasingly common solution is to get a Change of Use from Office to Residential to make the most of a subdued market for office and retail space and turn it into housing, and this phenomenon is happening up and down the country.
Read our handy guide and use our proven formula to make a Prior Approval application to get a Change of Use from office (B1) to residential (C3) use.
Yes, you can. And the best part is that you may not need to apply for planning permission for a Change of Use from Office to Residential – B1 to C3.
Here’s the deal: Permitted Development Rights is a scheme put in place by the government to allow certain types of change of uses to be carried out without the need to apply for planning permission, and one of them being change of use from an office use to residential use. This makes the whole planning process much more simple and straightforward. However, there are certain aspects that still have to be taken into considerations. Not every office or retail space can be converted into housing, and this is a particularly hot topic at the moment – read on for more.
If you want to take advantage of office-to-residential permitted development rights and join hundreds of successful developers, request your quote from us today. We can help you change the use from B1 to C3 and convert your offices into maximum number of flats by making a Prior Approval application. Your application must include a full set of drawings and supporting documents relating to the transport and highway impacts, contamination risks, flood risks and noise of your development.
If your property complies with the Prior Approval mechanism, your council will not apply any other planning policies in determining the Prior Approval application. All you will need to do is to use a proven formula to convert offices into homes. If you work with the best experts you can make the most of this opportunity. Your architects and planning consultants can help you design your development, prepare a full set of planning drawings and submit and manage your Prior Approval application from your council for a Change of Use from office to residential.
Little changes in the design are what the property needs to boost in value.
Once your architects and planners submit the Prior Approval plans to the council, the council will then have 56 days to make a decision. Once you get the approval, you are ready to start work on your development, meaning that you’ll have the chance to convert your office space into homes and make the most of your investment!
With the Housing and Planning Minister Kit Malthouse’s proposal to extend Permitted Development Rights (PDRs) to cover housing on high streets and upward extensions, it’s important to explain and provide our professional opinion on the matter:
We agree with the Royal Town Planning Institute that poor use of Permitted Development rights generally delivers low-quality, unprepossessing housing in awkward locations. We encourage developers to get involved and make sure their project provides high-quality accommodation that meets existing Permitted Development guidelines in terms of space standards and integration into the existing urban fabric.
It’s worth remembering that office-to-residential developments aren’t well-suited to town and city centres, as we have seen similar projects create blank façades that strip high streets of their vitality, exacerbating the existing problems. This is the rationale behind councils in London issuing Article 4 Directions.
Article 4 Directions happen at a local level and reserve the council’s right to reject Permitted Developments Rights and Prior Approval applications, which often happens in places where a specific purpose is wanted – for example in conservation areas, tech clusters or employment centres. This means that you need to apply for planning permission to convert your offices into houses or flats. Ensure that you check this with your architect or your council first before trying to convert your office into a home.
If you have office property that you want to convert into apartments, use our expert team to make the Prior Approval process simpler, easier and quicker. We can help you get the most out of your property while protecting our high streets.
Email or call us today on 0203 793 78 78 and we can guide you successfully through the Change of Use commercial to residential process in London and the UK.