Conversion opportunities present themselves in all sorts of guises — the faithful barn being the most popular among us Brits. But how about converting an office into a home? The Government has moved one step closer to making this process a little easier, announcing plans to allow the conversion of underused and redundant office buildings for residential use under Permitted Development — meaning tricky planning applications may no longer be required. (Although local authorities, including the City of London, have opportunity to opt out under ‘exceptional circumstances’ before these new rules are rolled out.)
No doubt, larger office blocks will be snapped up by developers wishing to create flats, but the space offered by such buildings in city centre and urban locations (where existing homes or plots tend to be high on price and short on space) could see them becoming attractive propositions for the ‘homebuilder and renovator’, wishing to carve out their own home from a former office, too.
Watch this space for more on these new rules. In the meanwhile, for inspiration, look out for the March issue of Homebuilding & Renovating magazine (out 31st January), which features a ’70s office block converted into a spacious, high-tech home in the heart of Leicester.