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Thursday 21st February 2019

What is the impact of

Office to Residential Developments

on the sector


Venue: RICS, Great George Street, London, SW1P 3AD

Time; 7.45 - 10.15am

Permitted Development rights were introduced in May 2013, which relaxed rules on converting a building from an office into housing without full planning permission. The impact has seen a dramatic rise in its uptake ,but there have been calls for controls following concerns about the size and quality of the housing provision being provided. Come and join us as our expert panel discuss:

  • What has been the level of uptake and in what areas of the country?

  • Has the been an abuse of the rights lead to poor quality unchecked housing provision?

  • Has there been more positives than negatives in reviving redundant office buildings?

  • Does there need to be a tightening of the legislation to ensure affordable housing is provided?

  • Will more councils bring in Article 4 directions to protect the loss of office space?


Alan Benson
London Borough of Haringey
Alan Benson has been working in government - central, local and regional - since 1987, mainly in housing and corporate strategy. He was responsible for housing strategy and performance management at the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. From 2004 Alan Benson was responsible for housing policy at the Greater London Authority, providing advice and support to the Mayor's Office on housing issues.
He managed the GLA's Housing Policy Unit, which lead on housing-related policy development and research for the GLA, including producing the statutory London Housing Strategy.
Alan has been Head of Housing at the London Borough of Haringey since December 2016. He leads on all the Council’s work on Housing Policy, driving new housing delivery and tackling homelessness, as well as being “client side” for its ALMO. 
Andrew Black

Andy is Director of Planning at PRP and is responsible for a team of planners covering both London and Surrey studios. He has over 15 years of experience in planning and development and worked in both the housebuilding industry and Local Authority prior to joining PRP. At PRP he advises a wide range of clients on a variety of residential schemes at all stages of the planning process.

He frequently acts as an expert witness in planning inquiries and local plan examinations. He is currently involved in the London Plan examination process.

Andy is a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute. He sits on a variety of industry bodies and contributes extensively to the response on government consultations and other initiatives.

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