Brentwood Lib Dems seek to stop the conversion of offices to residential uses without going through the planning permission process

June 20, 2019 7:29 PM

New North House Brentwood

Cllr Philip Mynott (Brentwood North) will table the following motion at full council on 26 June 2019:

In 19th December 2017 Lichfields, the Brentwood Council consultants who had produced the Economic Futures Study in support of the Local Plan, advised the council to consider gaining an Article 4 direction "to stop the conversion of offices to residential uses through permitted development rights". The clear object of this advice was to prevent the worrying erosion of town centre employment uses.

LGA analysis also shows that "councils have potentially missed out on more than 10,500 desperately needed affordable homes in the past three years as a result of government rules allowing developers to bypass the planning system". Office conversions which do not go through the planning system include "no affordable housing or supporting investment in infrastructure such as roads, schools and health services". The LGA are campaigning for councils to be given back control over office conversions "to ensure they are good quality and help build prosperous places.

The council resolves to consult on the introduction of an Article 4 restriction on office conversion in an area to be confirmed but probably including Brentwood
North, West, South and Warley wards.