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Boles to unveil plans to convert empty office space into housing

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Boles to unveil plans to convert empty office space into housing

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Central Government and also in Development, Housing

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The planning minister, Nick Boles, will reveal plans this week to allow the conversion of empty office blocks into flats without planning permission.

The Government intends to allow developers to avoid long-winded and costly planning procedures in an effort to increase the housing supply.

The plans, known as 'permitted development rights', will not include the City of London, where there are fears that empty "landmark" buildings could be converted into flats that would be difficult to revert to office space if and when the economy recovers.

Shops and warehouses across the country will also be excluded from the plans.

The MP for Cities of London and Westminster, Mark Field, said: "We've just had a once-in-a-lifetime financial crisis so it's hard to judge what the demand will be for office space in the coming years."

The Tory added that he was pleased the City of London would be exempt from the plans, calling it a "sensible move".

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