Nearly one in ten homes built over the last two years was converted from an office, new analysis has revealed today.
The investigation by the Local Government Association (LGA) found these developments included no affordable housing or supported investment in infrastructure.
The LGA warns permitted development rules are leading to the potential loss of more than 7,500 affordable homes and should be scrapped.
The research found that since 2015, 30,575 housing units in England have been converted from offices. In some parts of the country, it accounted for two-thirds of all new housing.
'At present, permitted development rules allow developers to bypass local influence and convert offices to flats, and to do so without providing affordable housing and local services and infrastructure such as roads and schools,' said cllr Martin Tett, the LGA’s housing spokesman.
'Permitted development is detrimental to the ability of local communities to shape the area they live in.
'Planning is not a barrier to house-building, and councils are approving nine in 10 planning applications. But it is essential that councils, which are answerable to their residents, have an oversight of local developments to ensure they are good quality and help build prosperous places. The resulting loss of office space can risk hampering local plans to grow economies and attract new businesses and jobs to high streets and town centres.'