Planning law - Government growth proposal to transform empty offices into new homes

In the Budget Report published on 23 March, the Chancellor set out plans to bring empty commercial buildings into residential use to increase housing supply.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has now published a consultation paper, seeking views on its proposal to scrap the requirement to obtain planning approval for change of use from Use Class B1 (offices, research and development premises and light industry) to Use Class C3 (residential). Views are also sought on whether to include change of use not only from Use Class B1, but also from Use Classes B2 (general industrial) and B8 (storage and distribution).

The consultation closes on 30 June 2011.

For further information please get in touch with your usual contact in the Stevens & Bolton LLP Real Estate team. For a copy of the consultation paper titled 'Relaxation of planning rules for change of use from commercial to residential' please visit


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