TCPA responds to Labour's commitment to scrapping permitted development

24-04-19—The Labour Party has committed to ending permitted development rights which currently allow developers to convert commercial buildings - such as offices, storage units and industrial buildings - into homes without receiving proper planning permission.

Fiona Howie, chief executive of the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), said:

“The TCPA has long campaigned against extending permitted development rights to allow the conversion of commercial buildings to housing. This was because of a range of concerns including the poor quality of many of the resulting homes, the inappropriate locations of some of those homes, and the way that by bypassing proper planning processes developers can avoid funding new affordable homes. We have seen, for example, new houses built on industrial estates where the only space for children who live there to play outside is a car park. The TCPA strongly welcomes, therefore, this commitment from the Labour Party.

We recognise there is an urgent need for more homes but they must be decent, safe homes that will enhance people’s health and wellbeing. The government has suggested solving the problem by tweaking permitted development rights to recognise the importance of design. But this is not enough because we need new homes to be developed within high quality places that enhance people’s lives. Using permitted development rights to create new homes simply is not creating good places.”


Notes to editors

  1. Rt Hon John Healey MP, the shadow housing secretary, made the announcement that Labour would scrap permitted development upon winning an election on the Today programme this morning
  2. The Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) is an independent campaigning charity calling for more integrated planning based on the principles of accessibility, sustainability, diversity and community cohesion. For more information on the TCPA, click here.
  3. For further information, please contact Jack Mulligan at the TCPA on 07825707546 or [email protected].