Extending permitted development rights can be a cause for celebration
The extension of permitted development rights to convert offices into residential buildings has not been universally popular. When it comes to airspace developments, however, we should recognise the benefits, says Aaron Emmett
Changes to permitted development rights (PDR) as a means of increasing housing output and addressing the crisis in housing supply, on face value make sense.
The need for more homes is acute and where an opportunity to increase the size, or change the purpose, of an existing building occurs, it would appear prudent to do so if it creates no adverse effect.
And that’s exactly where the problem has been. All too often, the boundaries of what is “permitted” are stretched to their limits; the use of a building is changed without due consideration to its local impact; or simply the assumed ease of extending or altering a building allows cowboys to operate.
So, when it was confirmed that the further widening of permitted development rights would allow for upward extensions to go ahead, it’s understandable why it was met with both celebration and concern.