Permitted Development Changes – Housing v Office

Published August 23rd, 2013

Planning regulations have been relaxed to enable commercial, agricultural and residential property owners to make better use of their buildings.

Changes to the General Permitted Development Order mean that from May 30, 2013 the change of use from office space to residential is now permitted without the need for planning permission, subject to a prior notification procedure.

The following conditions must, however, be met:

•  The office was in use as an office or last used as an office before May 30, 2013

•  The site is not a listed building, scheduled monument and does not form part of a safety hazard area or military explosives storage area

•  The site is not within an exempted Local Authority area.


The change of use must take place before 30th May 2016 and it is important to note that full planning permission is likely to be required where the change in use results in material external alterations to the building.

Changing use might be attractive where office occupancy is struggling – the key deciding factors being the likely office occupancy and anticipated conversion costs. The additional investment for income generation might only be worthwhile when office occupancy is very low. However, the conversion does potentially offer other benefits – it creates a significant capital gain which could perhaps be taken as a profit to unlock other business development (subject to Capital Gains Tax) and it creates additional residences on farm which may help with family succession planning.

The income streams from both residential and office accommodation would be subject to Income Tax and should attract Business Property Relief from Inheritance Tax provided they do not form the greater proportion of the farm income.

For further advice, please contact Lisa Clements at Berrys’ Kettering office on 01536 532387 or Stuart Thomas at the Shrewsbury office on 01743 267069

For more information...

Visit our relevant website page: Planning & Development