Platinum Property Partner’s Planning Manager, Alison Broderick, shares her summary of the Autumn 2018 Budget in regard to how this could affect planning for property investors.

On Monday 2nd November 2018, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a raft of changes to the planning system with the aim of improving housing delivery and re-invigorating our high streets. Amongst these changes, Philip Hammond announced a proposal for new Permitted Development (PD) rights, including changes of use for construction and demolition. These changes would create the opportunity to convert shops, financial and professional services into offices and for takeaway premises to be converted into residential housing. He stated that the purpose of this would be to boost high street success and support diversification of high street businesses.

Also included in Hammond’s proposals for new PD rights, were changes of use for property owners. His suggestions were to make the PD rights for larger householders’ rear extensions permanent and allow possessors to extend their buildings upwards. Amongst other announcements, there was also discussion around funding for the Housing Infrastructure to “unlock housing delivery” and an extension of the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme until 2023.

The consultation on permitted development changes is open until the 14th January 2019 and has so far garnered a mixed response, with some critics claiming that additional PD rights for residential conversions do not lead to high-quality homes. However, others believe that if enforced, the changes offer the opportunity for greater improvements without planning permission to existing residential dwellings and for a wider range of properties to be brought into residential use. PPP will be making a submission via our Planning team to the consultation and will keep a close eye on the progress of the proposed changes.