In early 2013 a change in development rights enabled owners of property with B1 class of use to convert their property from office based property to residential ( C 3 use ) without having to go through the process of obtaining planning permission from their local council. The rationale being to reduce the number of underused properties in brownfield sites.
This has given developers the opportunity to develop properties that otherwise may have stayed empty and unused for a considerable time.
Whilst I do not intend to elaborate on this government initiative it does create opportunities for mortgage and finance brokers and in particular bridging loan providers.
The initiative is in place for three years after which it will be reviewed. So for developers looking for cheap property to invest in and given all the other government initiatives for affordable housing and suchlike you may only have a short window to capitalise on this type of project.