United Trust Bank comments on the government’s permitted development proposals.

Paul Keay, Property Development Director, United Trust Bank commented:

“Changes to the planning requirements for office to residential conversions were well received by many developers and have enabled many outdated or disused office buildings to be transformed into attractive new homes. Uncertainty over what lay beyond the expiration of the temporary order next May has however prevented a number of suitable schemes from progressing as quickly as they should. The government’s proposal within the recently published Housing and Planning Bill to make the temporary changes permanent, and to extend the range of buildings included within the order, will be welcomed by developers and lenders alike.”

“A key condition of the enabling order requires conversions covered by permitted development rights to have begun their new residential use by May 30th 2016 and many have interpreted this as meaning that the new apartments must actually be lived in by then, and that has created something of a headache for developers and lenders when considering schemes which may not be fully completed and occupied by that time.”

“Whilst the Bill has yet to pass into legislature, it does send a clear signal to developers and lenders that the government remains positive about the impact of the initiative and does not intend to leave developers high and dry next May. As a result we expect developers to recommence progressing schemes which were put on the back burner until the government had made its intentions clear and this is good news for developers, development lenders and the many hundreds of thousands of people who will be looking to buy their own homes over the next few years.”