Office-to-residential permitted development right to be made permanent

Office-to-residential permitted development right to be made permanent

On 12th October 2015, the Prime Minister announced that the office-to-residential permitted development right will become permanent from May 2016.

The government will introduce a permanent permitted development right for change of use from class B1(a) (offices) to class C3 (dwelling houses). This will replace the existing temporary right, which applies from 30th May 2013 to 30th May 2016.

The new office-to-residential permitted development right has been announced ahead of the publication of the Housing and Planning Bill, as a means of supporting the government's drive to deliver one million homes by 2020.

While the right may only contribute a fraction of that target, it will provide welcome certainty for those developers looking to convert offices into homes.

Those who already have prior approval or secure permission will have three years to complete the change of use.

From May 2016, the rights will allow the demolition of office buildings and new building for residential use. It will also enable the change of use of light industrial buildings and launderettes to residential use.

All will be subject to limitations and the LPA's prior approval, and the government plan to provide further details.

Exemptions to the right

It's worth knowing that the City of London and commercial areas exemption will continue until May 2019.

There are 17 local authorities in England that are currently exempt from the rights, including:

  • The City of London
  • The London Central Activities Zone, which covers parts of the boroughs of Camden, Islington, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Southwark, Lambeth, Wandsworth, Westminster, Newham, and Kensington and Chelsea
  • Areas in the borough councils of Stevenage, and Ashford (Kent)
  • Areas in the district councils of Sevenoaks and East Hampshire
  • Manchester City Centre

Need advice? We can help you

Please call Mark Teal on 01482 324252. 

Or email

You can find out more about our Property & Real Estate services here.


For Government source please go to.Gov Website

Return to the insights archive »

The content on our site is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content on our site.

Although we make reasonable efforts to update the information on our site, we make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content on our site is accurate, complete or up-to-date.

Click here to view our Terms of Use