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Planning Permission changes -commercial to residential

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Some serious flaws to it, but so far there seems to be quite an unusual spin on it.

Could this be the first wave of popular anti-planning re-education on behalf of the coalition?

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12792614

[quote]
The Government is set to announce measures in the Budget to make it easier for companies in England to convert commercial property into private dwellings.

The BBC has learned that soon planning permission would no longer be required by developers. The government says this should result in up to 250,000 additional houses or flats being created. The plan would require changes to existing legislation. The new rules could be in place before the end of the year.

They would not apply to shops. Government sources said the changes, which are expected to be announced next Wednesday, could save £140m in red tape over 10 years.

The plan has been welcomed by the British Property Federation. Last year, some 129,000 new housing units were built in England. That is the lowest peacetime figure since 1923. Almost 10% of commercial properties currently lie vacant.
[/quote]

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[quote name='Dave Beans' timestamp='1300501410' post='2933138']
[url="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12792614"]http://www.bbc.co.uk...siness-12792614[/url]


[/quote]

According to this link there are approx 30000 house-building starts a quarter, so 250k would be about a 2 years worth. Unfortunately, estimates based on rumored government policy very rarely turn out to have any accuracy whatsoever :-( Still, it would be excellent bear food if true.

http://www.propertycommunity.com/property-in-the-uk/674-number-new-properties-built-uk-homes.html

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[quote name='MongerOfDoom' timestamp='1300502371' post='2933139']
According to this link there are approx 30000 house-building starts a quarter, so 250k would be about a 2 years worth. Unfortunately, estimates based on rumored government policy very rarely turn out to have any accuracy whatsoever :-( Still, it would be excellent bear food if true.

http://www.propertycommunity.com/property-in-the-uk/674-number-new-properties-built-uk-homes.html
[/quote]

Living on an industrial estate would be interesting...loud during the day, normally when your out, but quiet in the evenings.. Edited by Dave Beans

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12792614

It does not apply to shops so I am not sure what commercial property they are thinking could be converted to houses & flats? B&Bs? Hotels? Is a restaurant a shop?


[quote]The Government is set to announce measures in the Budget to make it easier for companies in England to convert commercial property into private dwellings.

The BBC has learned that soon planning permission would no longer be required by developers.

The government says this should result in up to 250,000 additional houses or flats being created.

The plan would require changes to existing legislation.

The new rules could be in place before the end of the year.

They would not apply to shops.

Vacant properties

Government sources said the changes, which are expected to be announced next Wednesday, could save £140m in red tape over 10 years.

The plan has been welcomed by the British Property Federation.

Last year, some 129,000 new housing units were built in England.

That is the lowest peacetime figure since 1923.

Almost 10% of commercial properties currently lie vacant.[/quote]

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I suppose it will come down to what a commercial building is. Apart from the obvious empty office block or industrial building, how about a closed village pub ? To date most end up closing and the owners often spend years trying to get change of use to residential. Same with uneconomical village shops. Are these commercial ? I doubt it. Also, there is a nice little piece of agricultural land near me for sale with a farm building on it. Is that commercial ? I doubt it.

I suspect there will be a very narrow definition of what is commercial and there will still be all sorts of planning details to overcome.

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[quote name='Dave Beans' timestamp='1300501410' post='2933138']
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12792614
[/quote]

So our "rebalancing" involves ridding the country of more productive space?

You want more decent housing. Release greenbelt and lots of it.

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Relaxing planning rules in this way is obviously great from a HPC perspective, but it's a shame that you might see more character buildings and local businesses chopped up and sold off to BTL spivs in the process.

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[quote name='mentholist' timestamp='1300511240' post='2933146']
So our "rebalancing" involves ridding the country of more productive space?

You want more decent housing. Release greenbelt and lots of it.
[/quote]

I'm not against releasing some green belt if its done throughtfully but when does that process stop? When is enough enough? Until there's none left? Not everyone who supports the idea of the green belt has a vested interest in property.

In the tiny island state of Singapore (half the size of London, population 5.5m), the number of open spaces seem to be dwindling to such an extent they are reclaiming land from the sea. They were even contemplating at one point cutting down all the trees on Orchard Road (to make room for more businesses) - the very thing which, blended with the modern, makes the place such a good tourist draw.

Try building upwards, not outwards. The UK is peppered with plenty of failed urban-sprawl cities, why not demolish the worst in their entirety and renew them with something more intelligent? Cos the UK is bust cos it invested in the past and not the future. <_< Edited by Dave Spart

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[quote name='The Masked Tulip' timestamp='1300507548' post='2933144']
[url="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12792614"]http://www.bbc.co.uk...siness-12792614[/url]

It does not apply to shops so I am not sure what commercial property they are thinking could be converted to houses & flats? B&Bs? Hotels? Is a restaurant a shop?



[/quote]

Assuming that factories count as manufacturing, rather than commercial, I would assume they are talking about things like 60s office blocks which are unlikely to cause much weeping among conservationists!
Perhaps some warehouses, disused petrol stations etc

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[quote name='Dave Spart' timestamp='1300518521' post='2933151']
I'm not against releasing some green belt if its done throughtfully but when does that process stop? When is enough enough? Until there's none left? Not everyone who supports the idea of the green belt has a vested interest in property.

In the tiny island state of Singapore (half the size of London, population 5.5m), the number of open spaces seem to be dwindling to such an extent they are reclaiming land from the sea. They were even contemplating at one point cutting down all the trees on Orchard Road (to make room for more businesses) - the very thing which, blended with the modern, makes the place such a good tourist draw.

Try building upwards, not outwards. The UK is peppered with plenty of failed urban-sprawl cities, why not demolish the worst in their entirety and renew them with something more intelligent? Cos the UK is bust cos it invested in the past and not the future. <_<
[/quote]

You're preaching to the almost converted. It just strikes me that if already occupied space is used up by residential property rather than commerce you simply shift the problem away from supply on the residential side to supply on the commercial side.

Personally I'd prefer to protect greenbelt by pursuing a stable or slowly declining population policy. Thus would help with energy management and a whole host of infrastructure related issues. But no what we need is immigration and growth at all costs apparently.

As for high density housing. It can be done but not everyone wants to live like this. My father paid 3 x his wages for a semi (oo-Er) with a garden big enough to swing a cat in. Similar new build structures now cost 7-8x average wages here and are crammed in due to profit maximisation and planning restrictions.

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[quote name='Dave Beans' timestamp='1300502967' post='2933141']
Living on an industrial estate would be interesting...loud during the day, normally when your out, but quiet in the evenings..
[/quote]
My parents used to live next door to light industry. Lovely house, converted from what was originally servants quarters behind a posh crescent. Being retired, they were in during the day. They were happy there.

Then the site got redeveloped to flats. Yuppies moved in. The noise became more annoying, and no time in the 24 hours was free of it. Parents moved out, ended up in a horrible little shoebox where they live now :( .

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Love to know if this extends to old agricultural buildings. That could give us something new but not-necessarily-depressing in rural areas. And a huge gift to farmers is in-character for any UK government.

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[quote name='Dave Spart' timestamp='1300518521' post='2933151']
I'm not against releasing some green belt if its done throughtfully but when does that process stop? When is enough enough? Until there's none left? Not everyone who supports the idea of the green belt has a vested interest in property.

In the tiny island state of Singapore (half the size of London, population 5.5m), the number of open spaces seem to be dwindling to such an extent they are reclaiming land from the sea. They were even contemplating at one point cutting down all the trees on Orchard Road (to make room for more businesses) - the very thing which, blended with the modern, makes the place such a good tourist draw.

Try building upwards, not outwards. The UK is peppered with plenty of failed urban-sprawl cities, why not demolish the worst in their entirety and renew them with something more intelligent? Cos the UK is bust cos it invested in the past and not the future. <_<
[/quote]

I think Singapore example is especially poor, sorry. For the UK to reach Singapore's population density you would need 1.7billion British people...
A very small percentage (single digit, ~6%) of the UK is built on, how much green belt do you need?

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[quote name='frenchy' timestamp='1300521047' post='2933164']
I think Singapore example is especially poor, sorry. For the UK to reach Singapore's population density you would need 1.7billion British people...
A very small percentage (single digit, ~6%) of the UK is built on, how much green belt do you need?
[/quote]


Apparently enough for the poeple who already live near or on it.

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[quote name='Kyoto' timestamp='1300514400' post='2933147']
Relaxing planning rules in this way is obviously great from a HPC perspective, but it's a shame that you might see more character buildings and local businesses chopped up and sold off to BTL spivs in the process.
[/quote]

But if the country needs more houses, and the local business is bust or failing, it makes sense.

You can't solve a housing shortage by listing every building and declaring every patch of grass green belt.

I'd like to buy a house, and much prefer modern houses, so anything that leads to building more houses sounds good and sensible to me.

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[quote name='scottbeard' timestamp='1300526994' post='2933220']
But if the country needs more houses, and the local business is bust or failing, it makes sense.

You can't solve a housing shortage by listing every building and declaring every patch of grass green belt.

I'd like to buy a house, and much prefer modern houses, so anything that leads to building more houses sounds good and sensible to me.
[/quote]

and how often is commercial converted into houses now, almost never. This change just produces more crappy flats, something we already have too many of.

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[quote name='phead' timestamp='1300527806' post='2933230']
and how often is commercial converted into houses now, almost never. This change just produces more crappy flats, something we already have too many of.
[/quote]

Aren't / weren't 40% of new builds flats? If developers take over ugly 60s & 70s office blocks & reclad them to make them more attractive, (and the development is sustainable) then I'm all for it...

I think this option will be highly attractive to those who have had their commercial buildings empty for a fair while, and they still have to pay rates on it...Some owners have been demolishing their buildings rather than keeping them empty... Edited by Dave Beans

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[url="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12792614"]http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12792614[/url]




As far as I can see this is just a secret bailout. "Stuck with a commercial property that is worth less than you paid, why not find a mug punter member of the public to buy it after you have converted it to residential."

I can see this wiping out swathes of local shops and other businesses, as people pack up and convert to residential or sell with planning permission for residential.

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[quote name='Mikhail Liebenstein' timestamp='1300544017' post='2933450']
[url="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12792614"]http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12792614[/url]




As far as I can see this is just a secret bailout. "Stuck with a commercial property that is worth less than you paid, why not find a mug punter member of the public to buy it after you have converted it to residential."

I can see this wiping out swathes of local shops and other businesses, as people pack up and convert to residential or sell with planning permission for residential.
[/quote]


Why is it a secret bailout ? It does not say anything about tax payers money being given to the developers.

To be honest it is a good idear , lot's of shops have now moved to out of town to shoppping parks and malls, leaving lots of high streets empty. Many high streets have good access to public transport and would be ideal for people to live in they would also have the shops, banks , bars ect that have not moved out on their doorstep. For many this would be better than living on a cramped new build estate a few miles and a car/bus ride from the nearest corner shop.

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[quote name='Mikhail Liebenstein' timestamp='1300544017' post='2933450']
[url="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12792614"]http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12792614[/url]




As far as I can see this is just a secret bailout. "Stuck with a commercial property that is worth less than you paid, why not find a mug punter member of the public to buy it after you have converted it to residential."

I can see this wiping out swathes of local shops and other businesses, as people pack up and convert to residential or sell with planning permission for residential.
[/quote]

The new legislation would exclude shops...

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This is good news for the owners of commercial premises, the change in regulation would allow them to dispose of their property as they wish, exactly as it should be. If they decide to convert to residential it's because the market prefers this over the alternatives, it'd be the most efficient allocation of scarce resources. Still this doesn't solve the real problem which is overpopulation, if immigration levels weren't so high and the government ended their chav breeding programme we wouldn't need to turn every available unit into housing. Edited by Authoritarian

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[quote name='scottbeard' timestamp='1300526994' post='2933220']
But if the country needs more houses, and the local business is bust or failing, it makes sense.

You can't solve a housing shortage by listing every building and declaring every patch of grass green belt.

I'd like to buy a house, and much prefer modern houses, so anything that leads to building more houses sounds good and sensible to me.
[/quote]


I doubt this has anything about providing meaningful supply of housing and eveything to do with creating less of a glut of commercial property so that businesses can continue to be reamed for large rents and prop commerical property values.

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[quote name='Dave Beans' timestamp='1300502967' post='2933141']
Living on an industrial estate would be interesting...loud during the day, normally when your out, but quiet in the evenings..
[/quote]
Where this has happened before, it only takes a few noise complaints from the new residents, and the businesses are forced to close for 'environmental health' reasons.

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