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Manchester joins London in fight against offices-to-homes free for all

Manchester City Council will seek an exemption from new permitted development rights allowing the conversion of offices into residential

The local authority joins the City of London and the Greater London Authority which have both voiced opposition to the reform.

Last month the government announced a three year permitted development right allowing conversions from class B1(a) to C3 to proceed without ‘the cost and delay of a planning application’.

Under the policy local authorities can ask for exemption where they can demonstrate there would be ‘substantial adverse economic consequences’.

Manchester City Council is seeking exemption on the grounds loosing office space could ‘weaken the city’s economy and threaten its ability to function effectively in the future’.

The Greater London Authority confirmed mayor Boris Johnson will be seeking an exeption for the ‘central activities zone’ area set out in the London Plan

The district covers most of central London and includes parts of inner London boroughs such as Islington and Lambeth.

The City of London has also declared its desire for exemption from the new rules which will come into effect in the spring.

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