Office-to-resi rights provided 13,000 homes in 2015/16
Recent figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) show housing supply in England came to 189,650 net additional dwellings in 2015/16, an increase of 11% on 2014/15. The notable upsurge in the number of commercial properties being converted into residential was cited as a main factor behind the growth. However the 2015/2016 figure is 15% below the 2007-08 peak of 223,530
Key highlights from the DCLG include:
• Annual housing supply in England amounted to 189,650 net additional dwellings in 2015-16
• The 189,650 net additions resulted from 163,940 new build homes, 30,600 gains from change of use between non-domestic and residential, 4,760 from conversions between houses and flats and 780 other gains (caravans, house boats etc.), offset by 10,420 demolitions
• 13,879 of the net additions from change of use were through ‘permitted development rights’ (full planning permission not required). These comprised 12,824 additional dwellings from former offices, 226 from agricultural or forestry buildings, 55 from storage buildings and 774 from other non-domestic buildings
The net additions from change of use were up by 48% (9,950) on the previous year, reflecting the amendments to ‘permitted development rights’ making it easier to change buildings to residential use. The figures also showed that there have been more conversions of office space in Croydon, south London, than in any other part of the UK. However, London’s Centre Point building was perhaps the most high profile commercial development to switch to residential use. The figures also showed that traditional new-build properties rose by 8,860 units to 163,940. This figure however remains far short of the 200,000 units a year the government pledged to meet its “million homes by 2020” target.