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  • Overview

    Richard Ellard, partner in our Commercial Property team looks at the changing face of South East England.

    The United Kingdom technically came out of recession in the third quarter of 2013 and the recovery has, thankfully, been sustained since then.

    The government has used various means to sustain and even stimulate the recovery including changes in planning rules.

    It is clear that a number of legislative changes have given rise to opportunities to those in the property industry which have led to fundamental, long term changes to our built environment.

    This government has been very keen to promote house-building. Brandon Lewis told the BBC in September 2015 that the government is looking to ensure that 1,000,000 new homes are built before 2020. This equates to 200,000 new houses per year which seems a lot but is still 50,000 short of the 250,000 target the Federation of Master Builders considers necessary to keep up with demand.

    Changes to rules relating to permitted development rights have had a significant impact on towns across the southeast. In 2013, the government introduced rules which permitted a change from office to residential use without the need for full planning consent in some circumstances. This right, initially for a three-year period, was extended this year.

    First published in November 2015 by Times of Tunbridge Wells: An Expert's View.

     

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