MIPIM VIDEO | What do changes to PDR mean for our towns and cities?

Thomas Pearson, partner and head of JMW’s commercial real estate team, said the recent relaxation of rules on converting buildings is being viewed positively by the market but needs to be carefully monitored.

Place North West caught up with Pearson at MIPIM. He said that while broadening the scope of permitted development rights is aimed at fighting the housing crisis, there are concerns in some quarters around the quality of accommodation delivered through PDR.

PDR was first introduced to make it easier to convert offices to apartments and “reduce the bureaucratic burdens of our cumbersome planning system”, according to Pearson.

Some argue it has been a success. Since 2015, more than 100,000 homes have been delivered through PDR, Pearson said.

Recent changes, which came into force earlier this month, aim to speed up the delivery of even more homes. They include the removal of the three-month vacancy rule and scrapping the size limit for office-to-resi conversions.

Pearson is hopeful that the relaxation of PDR will lead to the delivery of more homes and said it would decrease the holding and planning costs for landlords.

“For commercial land owners, the recent announcement offers a positive opportunity to increase the value of their assets,” he said.

However, he added that maintaining a balance between housing delivery and the quality of development is “vital”.

You can watch the video at the top of this article or on the Place North YouTube channel.

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