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News Release


Majority Support Government’s Change of Use proposals

According to Jones Lang LaSalle

London, 5th July 2011 – According to an internal survey carried out by Jones Lang LaSalle’s Planning team, 70 per cent of respondents support the Government’s proposals to amend the use classes order to allow changes from offices to housing.

Jeff Field, Director in Jones Lang LaSalle’s Planning team, said: “We deliberately excluded our Planning colleagues from the survey as we wanted a response from the wider property industry. I now have to pick up the pieces and formally respond to the government's consultation proposals. These views do not surprise me but we need to consider the unintended consequences not just for planning but also for the market place for tenants and investors.”

Jones Lang LaSalle’s survey support for the proposals falls off when considering whether to relax the rules for warehousing and general industry. Adaptability and sustainability also figure in as factors given that the proposals would allow changes of use only rather than redevelopment.

The full results of the survey were:

70 % are in favour of changes from Class B1
65% support the principle that local authorities can opt out
64% in agreement to allow a switch back to Class B1 within 5 years
57% are pro flexibility for general industry to housing

Jeff Field concluded: “I am not generally in favour of the proposals because of the effect and impact of high residential values in certain parts of towns and cities. Clearly, the message needs to be sent out to authorities that markets change quickly and the planning system must be made to adapt quickly enough to take advantage of such changes. I prefer the policy route but see positives in councils being given powers to elect to use these new UCO powers.”