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Boles gives boost for conversions in Islington

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Boles gives boost for conversions in Islington

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Local Government

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Offices are more likely to be converted to residential use in the London borough of Islington after ministers moved to close a lingering loophole.
Planning minister Nick Boles said “we will act to provide certainty and confidence in our change of use reforms”.

Changes to permitted development rights last year triggered court action by a number of Labour councils which subsequently lost their legal battles to have the rules overturned.

Since then, councils including Islington have imposed Article 4 directives to try and scupper development. These are rarely used planning instruments which overrule permitted development rights.

Earlier this year planning minister Nick Boles said: “The London borough of Islington and Broxbourne borough council have applied their directions disproportionately.”

Charles Mills, planning partner at Daniel Watney, a bespoke full service London agency, said the move “will be welcomed by developers as these Article 4 directives essentially prevented them carrying out office-to-residential conversions under permitted development rights”.

Mills added: “It is somewhat ironic that Islington, which is in dire need of new homes, was one council deliberately holding up new development off the back of political grandstanding.”

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