William Eichler 21 January 2019

Council limits permitted development rights to protect office space

Council limits permitted development rights to protect office space image

Islington Council has saved hundreds of thousands of square metres worth of office space from being converted into expensive homes.

The 900,000 square metres of office space - the equivalent to seven Shards - is in the south of the borough and supports around 62,000 jobs.

It is part of the Central Activities Zone (CAZ), the commercial core of London’s economy, and as such is protected from luxury developers by a requirement to get planning permission from the council.

However, since 2013, owners of office buildings in some other parts of the country have been allowed to convert them to residential accommodation without seeking council consent - exercising what is known as a permitted development right (PDR).

While offices within the CAZ have been exempt from this, the Government will lift the exemption in May, leaving landlords free to convert office space into expensive homes.

In order to protect against this, Islington council’s executive has approved the use of an Article 4 Direction in the CAZ to withdraw PDR for anyone wanting to change the use of a building from office to residential. This means they will still need to obtain council permission for any proposed conversion of office space to residential.

‘This might seem like a small legal change but the sheer scale of the threat this poses to the London and national economy - not to mention local jobs and businesses - is incredible,’ said Cllr Asima Shaikh, executive member for inclusive economy and jobs.

‘We’ve already seen the huge impact that the permitted development right has had elsewhere in Islington since 2013, with landlords converting more than six football pitches’ worth of office space into residential, capable of supporting around 3,000 jobs - and with absolutely no affordable housing provided.

‘Many small and medium-sized businesses and charities have been turfed out, jobs have been lost and the local economy has suffered as a result. That is utterly wrong and we cannot let this happen here, where 70% of the borough’s jobs and almost half of Islington’s businesses are located.

‘Our proactive decision shows that we will do everything we can to protect people’s jobs and the office space they rely on.’

Declaring a climate change emergency image

Declaring a climate change emergency

Local authorities can play a key role in tackling climate change – and there is plenty for them to do. Never before has thinking globally and acting locally been more important, says Mark Whitehead.
Open letter to Boris Johnson image

Open letter to Boris Johnson

The MJ's editor Heather Jameson asks the new PM a simple question: do you want to fund local government or do you want to scale back services to the basics?
Highways jobs

Senior Practitioner - Placement Finding Team

Essex County Council
£28500.0 - £50400.0 per annum
Senior Practitioner - Children and Young People Placement Service- Placement Finding Team Interviews to be held on the 10th September at County Hall, England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

People Information Analyst

Essex County Council
Up to £33330 per annum
Please note this is a fixed term contract role for a duration of 12 months. Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most dynamic local au England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Key stage Officer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£32430 - £34794
Key Stage Education Officer (Secondary Phase) to work with children in our care, supporting them in classrooms and in their homes with their education SE18 6HQ
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Solicitor/Barrister Advocate - Children’s x4

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Band I, SCP 44 - 47 (£46,564 - £49,538 per annum) (£24.14 - 25.68 per hour)
To act as the principal advocate for all aspects of advocacy legal work relating to the children’s social care in the county court and high court. Sandwell Council House, Freeth Street, Oldbury B69 3DE
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Business Support Officer

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Band C, SCP 5 - 8 (£18,795 - £19,945 per annum) pro rata (£9.74 - £10.34 per hour)
The successful candidate will provide administrative business support to service teams within Adult Social Care, Health and Wellbeing. The Lyng, Health & Social Care Centre, Frank Fisher Way, West Bromwich, B70 7AW
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

The June issue of Local Government News contains the full details of all the winning schemes in the 2019 Street Design Awards. From Children's Play to Pedestrian Environment, find out who has been recognised for their innovation and use of best practice.

This issue also explores how local government pension funds can hedge currency risk, how councils can best address the shortfall in school places, and an update on the number of authorities banning the use of Roundup over safety fears.

Register for your free magazine