Property Agency

Government Looks to Extend Permitted Developments Rights – The Impacts on Peterborough?

A recent government announcement is being widely welcomed by the property industry as new extensions to the Permitted Developments Rights (PDR) looks to allow casinos, storage facilities and distribution centres to be converted into residential dwellings.

Since the introduction of the Permitted Developments Rights in 2013, we at Barker Storey Matthews now part of Eddisons Peterborough office have experienced a significant amount of interest in centrally located office space, with residential developers and commercial clients both eying them up. Most sizeable towns and cities in our region have experienced PDR schemes, but the latest twist in the type of property entitled for residential development may not be appropriate (in our view) for conversion. Market demand, however, may ultimately prove to be the depending factor in what gets converted. Casinos, Distribution Centres and Storage Facilities being added to the list of properties now entitled for residential conversion may sound attractive, but will it be practical?

According to the Centre for Cities ‘Cities Outlook Report 2015’, Peterborough has the second fastest growing city population in the UK having grown by 24,900 people between 2004-2013; an overall growth rate of 15.2%. With this in mind, these new announcements could lend themselves to provide some additional boost over the next couple of years in terms of residential property within the city. Albeit, this is largely dependent on the number of suitable sites where this form of conversion would actually be appropriate.

So what impact is this likely to have on the commercial property market?

It is highly unlikely that these new additions to the Permitted Developments Rights are going to lead to a shortage of commercial property in Peterborough, particularly not around the Peterborough area as fortunately the city benefits from well-planned employment areas that are designed for business, not living! It is important to note however, that the same might not be said for older established locations where residential properties have been developed around older factories; the Northampton shoe industry is a prime example of this.


Centre for Cities ‘Cities Outlook Report 2015’ – Available at: