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London councils win exemption from new office to resi rules

Fri 10th May 2013, 11:58 am

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has announced that 17 local authorities, including 11 in London, will be exempt from the new office to residential use rules.

LGA: Spending Review submission

Under changes introduced by the Department of Communities and Local Government, no planning application will now be required in order to convert empty offices to residential dwellings.

The local authorities will be exempt from the rules due to exceptional economic circumstances that justify exemption.

Authorities that will be exempt are: City of London and Westminster, Camden, Islington, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Southwark, Lambeth, Wandsworth, Kensington & Chelsea, and Newham.

Other changes announced to the permitted development regime include new measures aimed at making it easier for parents and communities to convert buildings to state-funded schools.

There will also be an increase in the thresholds for changes of use from business or general industry to storage and distrubition, and vice versa, from 235 to 500 sq metres.

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