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In an attempt to boost the supply of residential properties coming to the market and to reduce the number of older and redundant office buildings around the UK the Government introduced a change in planning law in October 2013. This allowed properties with an office planning consent to change into residential dwellings without the need for formal planning consent. (New permitted development rights)

We are now starting to see the impact of this change. Examples of offices in Peterborough that have already been converted to residential use include the Bretton Green Office Village at Rightwell Bretton (pictured), Cavell Court Lincoln Road, former Buckles solicitors offices in Priestgate and Garrick House in High Street Fletton.

Richard Jones Director at Barker Storey Matthews Peterborough office comments “in total we believe around 100,000 sq ft of office suites have either been converted or is in the process of being converted and there is a potential further 150,000 sq ft likely to be sold for conversion in the near future. This could represent around 5% of the current office stock in Peterborough. The strength of the residential market and the fact that the newly permitted development rights allows change of use from offices to residential without the need to contribute towards local authority taxes (which is of course a requirement for all the new residential schemes) has led to this substantial activity. It is estimated between 300 and 500 new residential dwellings will be available in Peterborough within about 18 months to 2 years of the planning change.”

(Picture shows former office buildings at Bretton Green Office Village, Rightwell, Bretton adjacent the Bretton Centre which have now been converted to flats and houses)

Richard Jones

September 2014