Permitted development rules allowing offices to be converted into housing without planning permission are exacerbating the nation’s housing affordability crisis and should be scrapped, according to the Local Government Association. Latest figures show that since 2015, a total of 42,130 housing units in England have been converted from offices to flats without having to go through the planning system. As a result, they included no affordable housing and did not offer any investment into infrastructure such as roads, schools and health services. The LGA estimates this has led to the potential loss of 10,500 affordable homes in the past three years. It comes as its survey of councils in England found concerns about the rules around permitted development, revealing around nine out of 10 councils were concerned about the design quality and the appropriateness of the location of housing with almost six out of 10 councils surveyed concerned about safety. It also … (To read the full article, subscribe below)

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