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Office space being converted for residential use in Winchester will now require planning permission after the removal of permitted development rights on 20 November 2017.

Office space in the city is in high demand and conversions for residential use are limiting availability. Concerned that this has a detrimental effect on the local economy, Winchester City Council has addressed this issue by making an Article 4 Direction. This restricts permitted development rights requiring applicants looking to develop an office for residential use to acquire full planning permission.

Cllr Caroline Brook – Portfolio Holder for Built Environment said:

“These new controls enable the Council to assess individual changes against the adopted planning policy which seeks to protect office floor space. Whilst we understand the importance of providing new homes to help meet local housing needs, offices were being lost despite local demand from businesses which is undermining the economic well-being of Winchester.”

The move was supported by the Chamber of Commerce and BID and reflects concerns raised by the M3 Enterprise Local Economic Partnership (LEP). The need for full planning permission will enable the Council to properly assess the proposed change of office space to housing.

The new controls will not affect the conversion of premises prior to 20 November 2017. Any queries regarding these or other matters should be sent to

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