Bromley Council has received a planning application that could see the town centre losing more valuable office space. The proposal would turn the second floor of St Georges House on Bromley Road into three one-bedroom flats. With the Government’s commitment to converting more space into residential properties, it is highly likely that this application will be approved.
The application was submitted under the three-year scheme to allow permitted development rights when converting offices into residential developments. Since the spring of 2013, landlords have been able to carry out these conversions without permission. The Government’s aim with this policy was to create valuable residential properties in empty office space. There are only a few reasons that an application can be refused. These include transport and highways, flooding, or contamination issues.
However, landlords with high-value rental properties have used the scheme as a loophole to increase their returns. This is causing many local businesses in Beckenham to lose out. It is of particular concern in areas where residential rents and property prices are rising faster than the prices of office space.
The developer concerned with this latest development has highlighted the excellent transport connections that are available in close proximity to the proposed flats. Moreover, there would be no contamination or flood risk because the properties are situated on the second floor.
How do you feel about this latest planning application? Do you agree with the Government’s plans to convert more offices into residential developments?