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Time will tell whether allowing offices to be converted to residential without permission is positive change

Date: 28/7/2017

Planning magazine reports on the impact that the new rules allowing offices to be converted into housing without the need for planning permission.

In Nottingham, chief planner and POS Senior Vice President, Paul Seddon shares many of the worries expressed by others. Nottingham City Council had numerous concerns about losing influence over office-to-residential conversions, he says, adding: "The consequences around no section 106 contributions, little influence on quality and space standards were clearly a worry for us."

However, he also notes that there have been benefits from the policy, which has seen around 1,000 homes provided in former offices in the city. He says Nottingham was being held back by a large amount of vacant and poor-quality office accommodation. "It's mopped up the oversupply," he notes. "We've now seen office take-up improve over the last couple of years and greater interest for investment."

Seddon says "time will tell" whether PD rights have been positive, but adds: "It's nice to have had almost a silver lining."

PaulSeddon_web.jpg Paul Seddon

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