Below the federal government’s new Class MA PDR, which was unveiled on 1 August, it’s now doable to transform most business buildings – together with excessive avenue models and places of work – to residential use.
Nevertheless, a Property Week investigation, which concerned greater than two months of correspondence with London’s 35 native planning authorities, has revealed that 17 of them have both launched or have plans to introduce an Article Four route (A4D) to prohibit Class MA PDR. These bans will come into impact from 31 July 2022 when any bans launched on the outdated office-to-resi PDR will stop to have impact.
The boroughs of Camden, Croydon, Hammersmith and Fulham, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth, Westminster, Brent, Hounslow, Merton, Redbridge and Richmond, in addition to the Previous Oak and Park Royal Growth Company and the Metropolis of London Company, are all at numerous levels of implementing an A4D for the brand new PDR.
Solely the boroughs of Lewisham, Ealing, Havering, Newham and Sutton, as properly because the London Legacy Growth Company, mentioned that they had no plans to introduce an A4D for the brand new PDR.
The boroughs of Greenwich, Barking and Dagenham, Barnet, Bexley, Enfield, Haringey, Hackney, Hillingdon and Waltham Forest mentioned they have been undecided on the problem. The boroughs of Kingston, Bromley and Harrow didn’t reply to repeated requests for remark.
Explaining Camden’s determination to introduce an A4D, councillor Danny Beales advised Property Week the brand new PDR “dangers the lack of useful enterprise areas and hundreds of employment alternatives” and “typically results in poor-quality unaffordable housing”.
The responses from London native planning authorities in full
Camden: Cllr Danny Beales, cupboard member for investing in communities, tradition and an inclusive economic system, mentioned: “Article Four instructions are very important instruments for the council to forestall unsuitable developments and to guard our native excessive streets and the Camden economic system. That’s why we’re working to introduce ‘non-immediate’ article Four instructions to take away permitted growth rights for conversions from places of work, gentle industrial and excessive avenue makes use of into housing in July 2021, to allow them to come into drive earlier than the beginning of August 2022.
“These permitted growth rights not solely danger the lack of useful enterprise areas and hundreds of employment alternatives, in addition to injury to our excessive streets, however additionally they typically result in poor high quality unaffordable housing, which solely advantages speculative builders and never native folks, so we will need to have the planning powers to cease this.”
Greenwich: A spokesperson for the council mentioned: ”The Royal Borough of Greenwich is contemplating choices to increase the article Four route at 2-Four Pier Stroll and 6 Mitre Passage within the North Greenwich District Centre after 1 August 2022, and to make new article Four instructions in different components of the borough.”
Hammersmith and Fulham: A spokesperson for the council mentioned: ”The council is wanting into the introduction of a brand new article Four route.”
Islington: A spokesperson for the council mentioned: “We will verify we want to renew the present article Four instructions as soon as they lapse, together with the workplace to residential route.”
Kensington and Chelsea: A report printed by the council mentioned: ”The council is worried that, unfettered, the brand new system of prior approval will end in: the numerous lack of the borough’s inventory of workplace floorspace, the place the floorspace of the present workplace constructing is of 1,500 sq m or much less; growth which is able to hurt the vitality and viability of our city centres; the widespread lack of smaller outlets inside our neighbourhood centres and peripheral components of some bigger centres; a discount within the variety of makes use of within the borough, so important to its particular character; the lack of employment alternatives throughout the retail and enterprise sector throughout the borough; the destruction of essential enterprise clusters; and the lack of 14,600 workplace jobs.”
Lewisham: The council has an article Four route in place which “withdraws permitted growth rights for the change of use of dwelling homes in Class C3, to small homes in a number of occupation (HMOs) in Class C4 in 4 Lewisham Wards (Bellingham, Downham, Grove Park and Whitefoot)” and one which ”withdraws permitted growth rights for works to buildings inside chosen conservation areas and to specified buildings of historic curiosity”. A spokesperson mentioned: “the council is just not presently contemplating the revocation of those article Four instructions.”
Southwark: The council has made four A4Ds for the new PDR.
Tower Hamlets: A spokesperson mentioned: “We’re presently engaged on our strategy to article Four instructions given the current modifications to permitted growth rights. The central actions zone and Northern Isle of Canine have been initially exempt from the workplace to residential permitted growth rights when launched in 2013 and subsequently lined by an article Four route and that is one thing we’d be searching for to proceed.”
Wandsworth: A council report recommending the introduction of an article Four route for the brand new PDR mentioned: ”The brand new PDR will embrace prior approval restrictions associated to confirmed emptiness, floorspace, residential amenity and preserving some group makes use of. Nevertheless, the lacking aspect is the flexibility to contemplate the impression on the excessive avenue, and its vibrancy, vitality, and viability. There shall be an virtually ‘free for all’ for retailers and different city centre makes use of to vary to residential from 1 August 2021.”
Westminster: A press release on the council’s web site mentioned: ”The making of the proposed article Four route would assist allow town council to make use of its planning powers to safe an acceptable steadiness of makes use of within the CAZ and facilitate financial restoration. Particularly it will assist guarantee the supply of a spread of business house to assist the supply of fine progress in Westminster – which brings the utmost advantages for residents, employees, guests and companies in accordance with the goals of Metropolis for All, and the insurance policies within the Westminster Metropolis Plan. It will additionally assist guarantee new developments meet a variety of coverage goals together with responding to the local weather emergency, contributing in the direction of the supply of reasonably priced housing, and supporting enhanced infrastructure provision.”
Barking and Dagenham: A spokesperson mentioned: “We’ve got not decided on whether or not to introduce an article Four route for the brand new Class E to residential permitted growth proper. We’re nonetheless meaning to introduce an article Four route for upward extensions on present residential and business properties on 22 February 2022.”
Barnet: A spokesperson mentioned: “The council is closing endeavor property and planning due diligence to proof whether or not a brand new article Four route must be launched to assist withdrawing PDR for all makes use of inside Class E (business, enterprise and repair) to vary to make use of Class C3 residential below a brand new class MA within the basic permitted growth order (GPDO).”
Bexley: A spokesperson mentioned: ”Close to the brand new permitted growth proper to vary use from the brand new E use class to residential, we’re contemplating using article Four instructions to require planning permission, with the concentrate on our buying parades and our industrial areas (not borough-wide A4Ds). That is famous in our draft native plan.
“This work is simply on the proof gathering stage – we’ve got not accomplished this, which is why we’ve not launched any new A4Ds by the deadline of 31 July 2021 (to ensure that them to be in place by 1 August 2022).”
Brent: A spokesperson mentioned: ”Brent Council presently has two article Four instructions, which eliminated the permitted growth rights for B1(a) places of work to C3 dwelling homes conferred by Class O of the Normal Permitted Growth Order (GDPO), which Class MA permits to be retained till 31 July 2022. These cowl the entire borough, the place Brent Council is the native planning authority.
“In response to modifications to the GDPO during the last 12 months, the council’s cupboard just lately thought-about a spread of choices for eradicating permitted growth rights by new article Four instructions.
“These have been accepted and permit the council to proceed to plan for the necessity for workplace and industrial makes use of correctly, while additionally searching for to guard the vitality and viability of floor ground city centre frontages. These orders will seemingly come into impact on 1 August 2022.”
Croydon: A council report mentioned: ”The 1 August 2021, noticed the introduction of latest permitted growth (PD) rights for Class E makes use of lessons (business, service or enterprise use) to residential. Which means any premises on this use class below 1,500 sq. metres, empty for 3 months or extra can, topic to sure different situations and limitations, be transformed to residential by a previous approval course of, with solely extraordinarily restricted management by the native planning authority (LPA). The PD rights consists of conservation areas. The prevailing city centre workplace to residential article Four route in place till 31 July 2022 will shield equal growth till its expiry.”
Ealing: A spokesperson mentioned: ”There are not any plans to introduce any additional A4Ds within the instant future.”
Enfield: A spokesperson mentioned: ”We selected to not progress a non-immediate workplace to residential article Four route forward of 31 July. We’re actively contemplating choices for Class E (the category created in 2020 comprising ‘business enterprise and repair use’) to residential article 4s.”
Haringey: A spokesperson mentioned: “The council is contemplating its choices. The council’s response to the federal government session relating to permitted growth rights prompt that present article Four instructions must be continued.”
Havering: A spokesperson mentioned: ”We shouldn’t have an article Four route in place for workplace to residential permitted growth and we’re not meaning to introduce one earlier than 31 July.”
Hillingdon: A spokesperson mentioned: ”The council has a number of article Four instructions in place which prohibit conversion of places of work to residential buildings. They’re working in chosen components of the borough the place places of work are protected in keeping with the necessities of the native plan. These areas embrace Uxbridge city centre, Stockley Park and alongside Tub Highway.
“We’ve got an extra article Four route which is used to guard extra residential properties from being transformed to homes in a number of occupation in Brunel and Uxbridge.
“In response to the introduction of the Class MA permitted growth proper, the council is contemplating choices for a brand new article Four route, although a proper determination has not but been made.”
Hounslow: A supply near the council mentioned it was “pursuing the choice” of introducing an A4D for the brand new PDR.
Merton: A spokesperson mentioned: ”We shall be revising our present article Four instructions however haven’t began but on account of assets being deployed on different tasks in the meanwhile.”
Newham: A spokesperson mentioned: ”We don’t presently have any office-to-resi article 4s and there are not any plans to introduce them.”
Redbirdge: Cllr Sheila Bain mentioned: “Sure, one other [A4D] might want to made and carried out for 1 August 2022. The plans to exchange the article Four instructions at Hainault Enterprise Park will have to be progressed earlier than 31 July 2022 in order that the brand new article Four route shall be in place for 1 August 2022.”
Richmond: A press release on the council’s web site mentioned: “Latest authorities modifications in planning guidelines imply business premises corresponding to outlets, cafes, places of work and gymnasiums might be transformed to homes or flats with out the necessity for planning permission – by utilizing a permitted growth proper.
“The council is taking motion to take away this permitted growth proper in chosen areas throughout the borough to guard city centres, excessive streets, native buying parades and key employment areas from being became housing with out the necessity for planning consent.”
Sutton: A spokesperson mentioned: ”There are not any plans at current to both scrap or introduce new article Four instructions.”
Waltham Forest: A spokesperson mentioned: ”Like many outer London boroughs, no choices have but to be made on whether or not to increase or develop A4D. With the introduction of the brand new Class E, in frequent with different London boroughs we might want to gather contemporary proof. As present article Four instructions in respect of the change of use from places of work to residential will proceed to have impact till 31 July 2022, this recommend that any new A4D would comply with 12 months later to permit for knowledge to be collected.”
Previous Oak and Park Royal Growth Company (OPDC): A spokesperson mentioned: ”OPDC is planning to introduce a brand new article Four by August 2022. Our proposals have been accepted by our planning committee and are on account of go to our board in June. Topic to approval at board, we’ll then be consulting on the proposed modifications.”
Metropolis of London: A council report mentioned: ”To make sure that the Metropolis Company retains native planning management over proposals for modifications of use from places of work to residential, a brand new article Four route eradicating permitted growth rights from places of work (Class E(g)(i) to residential (Class C3) is required. A non-immediate article Four route is due to this fact proposed to come back into impact from 1 August 2022.”
London Legacy Growth Company: A spokesperson mentioned: ”We’ve got no Article 4s in place and presently don’t have any plans to introduce any.”
The boroughs of Kingston, Bromley and Harrow didn’t reply to repeated requests for remark.
Author: ” — www.propertyweek.com ”