Start-up light industrial spaces – which include small breweries, design studios and launderettes – will be protected from permitted development as developers will now have to apply for planning permission before they can change the use of business premises to private housing.
The announcement comes after Lambeth Council revealed it would be blocking permitted development rights for office-to-residential conversions, while both Wandsworth and Southwark Councils have protected pubs in both boroughs from permitted development.
The new planning rules were approved by Hackney Council’s cabinet as it hopes to retain new and established businesses vital for local communities, jobs and the borough’s reputation as a centre for entrepreneurs.
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Cllr Guy Nicholson, cabinet member for planning, business and investment, felt that the introduction of permitted development rights was a short-sighted policy imposed on its local community and its economy.
“By introducing Article 4 directions, we have made sure the council has taken the lead in responding to this short-sighted approach by ensuring that you have to get planning permission if you want to change the use of employment space in the borough.
“The latest directions also require developers to seek planning permission if they want to change the use of buildings that support start-ups, warehousing or light manufacturing and now we are adding launderettes to this list.”
There is set to be a consultation open to all residents and businesses before the new plans are put in place.
The Article 4 direction will be effective 12 months after the notice of the decision is formally given and will be reviewed after three years.