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Stop the conversion of offices into housing without planning permission


Changes in Permitted Development Rights – office use to residential use

Support the campaign to save essential employment generating workspace rather than turning it to expensive apartments

You may be aware that Eric Pickles, Secretary of State, DCLG intends to relax planning requirements so that developers can change office premises (B1a) to residential (C3) without needing planning permission.

This relaxation in planning does not guarantee affordable housing. The unintended consequence is the risk to jobs that may damage growth sectors in the economy such as creative and tech industries. Creative industry workspace is crucial to London's economy and its international profile.

This campaign supports local authorities seeking exemption from this initiative, which they believe will have a negative impact on communities and local economies. Many business locations would be adversely affected, particularly in areas coveted as residential locations. Businesses would be potentially forced to relocate or close with a loss of jobs. There are likely to be no replacement buildings available if these go to housing.

We believe that it is important to keep a proportion of local building stock as a business district to ensure a balanced and mixed community; something that the Department of communities and Local Government actively promotes.

Jules Pipe, Hackney's elected mayor, said the policy could tear the borough's creative cluster apart, "almost as soon as it has put down roots, and could have a huge impact on local jobs". He said it risked "turning the borough into a dormitory village full of luxury apartments that do nothing to tackle the affordable housing crisis".

Our story:

The government’s view:

Local planners hit out:

This petition was delivered to:
  • Eric Pickles, Secretary of State, DCLG

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