New permitted development rights were introduced in 2013, allowing the conversion of offices into new homes without formal planning consent. This has contributed to a much needed housing supply and has allowed a greater scope for residential development. Taking advantage of these new rights Fuller Long have gained prior approval consent for the change of use of offices to 11 studio and 2 bedroom flats just two miles from Leeds City Centre.

The site in question, formerly a three-storey Victorian mill building, was in use as offices. However, our client wanted to change the use of the property to residential use, comprising 9 studio flats and 2 two bedroom apartments under Class O of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015. Fuller Long supported the application for prior approval with a highways report, contamination survey and supporting statement.  

By putting forward a well designed and well thought out scheme that was fitting with the local area, Fuller Long were able to gain prior approval for the change of use from the Council and the works were able to commence.

Since their introduction, office to residential conversions have seen an exponential increase. These conversions have been a useful way of providing much needed accomodation to meet housing demand in certain city centres. It has been reported that almost one in 10 new homes created in the last two years were converted from offices. The Guardian reports that, more than half of all new homes in some areas have been created by allowing developers to convert offices.

The LGA has also stated that office to residential conversions that have taken place under permitted development rights have accounted for 73% of new homes in Stevenage during 2016-17. In Nottingham, Basildon, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Hounslow and Harlow the figure was more than half. This has been a vital contribution to meeting the 300,000 housing targets needed to compete with housing demand.

Fuller Long consultants are well versed in the submission of applications for prior notification for the change of use from offices to residential and would be pleased to assist any persons considering taking this route. To discuss a planning issue in regards to office to residential conversions with one of our experienced team of consultants, please call us on 0808 164 1288 for a no obligation conversation or email us at