Local MP Wants 'Golden Mile' Protected As Business Hub
Mary Macleod wants exemption from new development law
Mary Macleod MP has called on Hounslow Council to use special measures to protect the Great West Road as a business hub for West London.
New permitted development rights, which came into force on 30th May, mean that developers are able to change use of a building from offices to homes without planning permission.
The MP, who was recently appointed as an Ambassador for Small Businesses, fears that if Hounslow Council does not guarangee an exemption to the new law, it will endanger the area in West London as a business hub.
The new legislation was intended to deal with the numbers of unused and outdated offices in the UK so that they could be turned into residential housing. However local authorities are allowed to be exempted from the law if they plead a particular need.
Mary met with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles to discuss the impact of changes to the permitted development rights in the Hounslow Borough. He advised that the only way to protect the area is in the form of an Article 4 Direction.
Local authorities can have an exemption by saying their area has particular needs and the Article 4 requires that planning permission is first obtained from the local planning authority for that development.
Mary commented:“We need to maintain the unique nature of the Golden Mile in attracting businesses to West London. If offices are converted into residential sites, I fear that existing businesses may even migrate out of the Borough. I would urge the Council to immediately initiate an Article 4 Direction to allow this part of West London be retained as a business hub.”
“As one of the Prime Minister’s advisors on businesses across London, I feel it is vital that areas like the Great West Road are preserved as business hubs. I am proud to represent an area with one of the fastest business growth rates in the country and we must work to protect that unique status.”
In a ministerial statement released in May on re-use of buildings in Planning, the Minister, Mr. Pickes had said ; “New permitted development rights will allow change of use from offices B1(a) to homes (C3) to provide new homes in existing buildings. This gives a clear signal to owners, developers and local planning authorities that we want underused and outdated offices to be brought back to life, and provides an excellent opportunity to create much needed new homes.
"We recognised that there may be exceptional economic circumstances which would justify exemptions. Following a thorough assessment of cases submitted, this change will not apply to areas in 17 local authorities, as set out in the secondary legislation.”
The new permitted development rights, which came into force on 30th May, mean that developers are able to change use of a building from offices to homes without planning permission.
Article 4 directions are one of the tools available to local planning authorities in responding to the particular needs of their areas. They do this by allowing authorities to withdraw the ‘permitted development’ rights that would otherwise apply by virtue of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 as amended (the ‘GPDO’). An article 4 direction does not prevent the development to which it applies, but instead requires that planning permission is first obtained from the local planning authority for that development.
July 2, 2013