DJD: commercial land could be diverted to housing

Graham StockGovernment and local authorities will come under increasing pressure to review allocation of land for employment use and convert it to residential, according to Graham Stock, planning partner at Drivers Jonas Deloitte.

Stock said employment land that had been allocated in local plans years ago but not developed could be transferred to housing if the government finds its home owner incentives "do not bring about the sorts of growth [in housing delivery] they hope to see".

Stock was addressing a breakfast seminar on Wednesday morning at Deloitte's office in 2 Hardman Street, Manchester. The Drivers Jonas Deloitte property advisory division of the business will at last relocate from New York Street by the end of this month, following Drivers Jonas' merger with Deloitte last year.

Developers should also look out, Stock said, for the new local enterprise partnerships drawing up economic development policy that the government uses as statutory consultation on major applications such as for large shopping centres and wind farms.

Mark Finch, partner at DJD in Leeds, said the government is expected to consult on plans to streamline the planning system in the autumn.

Despite the removal of regional development agencies and regional spatial strategies there will still be local housing targets, decided by local planning authorities, delegates were told.

On the localism agenda, the government will seek to limit the power of planning inspectors to have the discretion to insert their own wording into local development frameworks and inspectors' recommendations will no longer be binding.

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