On May 30th 2013, the Government changed the General Permitted Development Order which introduced new rules allowing the change from B1 office use to C3 residential use, subject to prior approval from the local authority, for a limited period of three years. The Government claimed it had introduced the new office permitted development rights prior notification procedure to boost economic growth and create more homes. This is proving very popular with the owners of office buildings. Last year Carter Planning obtained agreement to convert office buildings to residential units in Hammersmith, Reading, Reigate, and Newbury, and since then have gone on to seek further prior notification approvals for office to residential in Bromley, Epping Forest, Bedford and Nottingham.
Planning permission has been granted for a new hotel and retail development on Tooting High Street in Wandsworth Borough. This follows the Practice’s successful application last year for a hotel in the Borough of Barnet at Brent Cross. In both cases the Council saw the provision of a hotel as adding vitality to the shopping centre in a sustainable location well served by public transport.