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Residential Property Services

Following on from new Permitted Development rights that came into force in April 2013, the government has announced further changes to the rules (October 2015).

The 'temporary' scheme, originally introduced in 2013 to encourage developers and owners to convert offices, and more recently storage and distribution units, into much needed residential dwellings, will no longer be time restricted to May 2016. It will now be a permanent fixture, whilst new categories of light industrial buildings and launderettes have also been included in the list of premises able to benefit from conversion to homes under permitted development rights.

These changes form part of the wider General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) and override the necessity to submit planning applications for change of use as long as a number of conditions are adhered to.

In addition, Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said that the changes would allow for the demolition of office buildings to clear the way for new residential development, although prior approval will be required.

In his speech Mr Lewis said that under the temporary rights "almost 4,000 conversions were given the go-ahead between April 2014 and June this year".

Anyone who obtained permission under the temporary rules now has three years to complete their conversion – rather than by the previous cut-off date of May '16.

Exceptions do exist, for example some areas of towns and cities already cited as exempt from office to

residential permitted development rights will remain so until May 2019.

Charlotte Bland, Associate Director at Caxtons said "This announcement regarding office to residential conversion rules is very welcome news for many owners and developers of commercial property.

"It takes the pressure off of those who have already started schemes to have them finished by May 2016, and also keeps the door open for others still considering taking advantage of the permitted development rights, which will assist in bringing new, and desperately needed housing stock onto the market.

"Whilst the scheme has considerably reduced the level of office space available to let, in many ways, particularly in weaker towns where demand dropped significantly during the recession, this is a positive change and has assisted in reducing the supply of older and obsolete premises, lessening availability and thus encouraging rental growth in the sector as well as speculative development of new, more modern business space. Consequently the changes bring about advantages for many, including investors, developers, businesses, and residential buyers alike."

Charlotte added "I would recommend that anyone considering change of use seeks professional advice at the earliest opportunity."

For further information email Charlotte on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone 01474 537733.

charlotte bland 7846 SQU

Charlotte Bland

St Margaret's Street in Canterbury is one of the oldest thoroughfares in Canterbury city centre and has been a route for centuries of pilgrims who have travelled on their personal quests.

Caxtons is delighted to have let no.36 - a prime retail property on the corner of St Margaret's Street and Hawks Lane and close to the busy Marlowe shopping arcade at the centre of the city. The premises have been let on a new full repairing and insuring lease for £25,000 per annum exclusive.

The new tenant is Jack Kilpatrick who has 13 years experience in the hairdressing industry and is excited about his new venture. The 29-year-old is an award-winning stylist and takes part in numerous hair shows across the country- most recently a L'Oreal show in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

He said: "Jack Kilpatrick Hairspa is about offering a little bit of luxury in terms of experience-this is a chance to step away from the stresses of everyday life for a few hours, to relax and enjoy a cut, colour or finish with a top stylist who will walk the client through options to ensure that they get the best possible result."

Currently, the property comprises a ground floor work area of 39.03M² (420 FT²) plus a small office, kitchen /

staff room and cloakroom. There is a lower ground floor – used previously as a store area – that measures 43.77M² (471 FT²).

The property was marketed jointly through Cedar Harp Limited, a firm of surveyors specialising in Commercial property management across England.

Canterbury is an exciting and energetic city with a thriving commercial, retail and educational sector. It is well served by the M2 with routes north to London and south to the coast and Europe beyond. Two rail links from Canterbury East and Canterbury West stations provide access to St Pancras and London Victoria, and improvements on the High Speed 1 line will open faster access to Ashford and Eurostar services.

Caxtons is located in Castle Street, just past the St Margaret's Street crossroads and near to where a medieval irons cross once stood. The Kent based firm has been celebrating its 25th anniversary throughout 2015 with a variety of client and staff events.

For further information on similar properties contact Beverley Smallman at Caxtons' Canterbury office on 01227 788088 ext 3240 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

St Margarets Street 2

Commercial property lending increased by more than 50% and reached a six-year high by the end of 2014. According to the recent British Property Federation (BPF) report, this was due, in part, to non-traditional lenders entering the market in what is now an extremely busy commercial sector.

Insurance companies and other non-bank financiers were responsible for 25% of new loans, and whilst these lenders have only been included in the data since 2011, their market share increased significantly in the reporting period. These lenders came to the market '...due to regulatory changes and business opportunities created by the withdrawal of banks from this sector'.

The study also revealed that outstanding debt on

commercial property declined over the twelve-month period to year-end 2014.

In addition to general debt reduction, the report states that distressed loans also fell by more than 50% helped by a robust property market and, more generally, a strong UK economy. At year end there was a more even share of outstanding debt between the 12 top lenders.

Intentions to lend at the end of the period were strong and more than 80% of providers expressed a commitment to increase their loan book.

In tandem with property values, loan to value ratios had risen to 70% or less and made up more than 75% of the overall outstanding debt.


Paul Saunders