The Mayor has published a strategic evidence report supporting boroughs wanting Article 4 Directions to control commercial to residential permitted development conversions (Use Class E to C3). Details are here and here.
The GLA report relates to the 2021 London Plan and new government policy on Article 4s and supports geographically targeted Article 4s for the whole of the Central Activities Zone and Northern Isle of Dogs; for strategically significant office locations beyond the CAZ; for town centres and high streets and for industrial areas, including creative production space.
Meanwhile, despite the permitted development right (PDR) for change of uses in town centres, the Government has published proposals for the future of high streets, in ‘Build Back Better High Streets‘.
In July 2021 the House of Commons HCLG Committee’s critical report on PDR was published. Extracts can be read here.
Further to the update below of 23 June 2021 on this freedom for almost any conversion, there are warnings about potential loss of local infrastructure and an article on that subject by RTPI. There was an article in PropertyWeek that the new Class MA PDR “could meet the housing crisis head on”.
However, the Arts Council has reported on how arts and culture could bring people and pride back to our high streets.