New apartmentsPermitted Development is development which is allowed by Government policy to be carried out without planning permission. Following from our recent campaign (see permitted development and our voice reaches Whitehall) to draw attention to the impact of Permitted Development....

....with regard to roof extensions and parking in front gardens......we would draw your attention to more recent Permitted Development policy which has granted the automatic right to convert unused office buildings into residential use. This policy was introduced in 2013 to encourage development and stimulate the construction industry, but the initiative has created the following far reaching concerns;

- no planning permission means that the dwellings created are NOT required to comply with Government space standards, which has resulted in undersized homes.
- the policy is creating a shortage of office space in our towns and cities, which is hampering the growth of businesses, particularly new start-up companies.
- most importantly of all, no planning permission means that NO affordable housing has to be provided.

The local example which demonstrates the impact of this short sighted policy is the Parkview development (previously the HQ of Somerfield supermarkets and later used as offices for Bristol City Council in Hengrove). This is a substantial 3 storey block built in the 1980's and is to be converted into 630 residential units. Under normal planning rules this would have provided in the region of 189 much needed affordable dwellings. In practice there will be NO affordable units at all.

It is impossible to accept that the Government could not easily have foreseen these obvious flaws with this strategy, at a time when there is a crisis of lack of affordable homes nationwide.

You can find out more on this very worrying aspect of this legislation by referring to this Bristol Cable article