Planning deregulation as solution to the housing crisis: The affordability, amenity, and adequacy of Permitted Development in London

Ian Chng, Jonathan Reades, Phil Hubbard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Since 2013, Permitted Development Rights (PDR) in England have allowed commercial-to-residential conversions in locations once deemed suitable only for non-residential land-use. This deregulation of planning control has been justified as a way of encouraging more home-building in areas experiencing ‘housing crisis’, but its overall consequences remain unclear. This paper hence compiles quantitative evidence on a city-wide scale on the price, size, build and location of these conversions in London 2013-2021. It finds that homes produced through this route are generally smaller than the London average and are over-concentrated in neighbourhoods with fewer accessible green spaces and higher-than-average levels of air pollution. Here, larger conversion schemes (of more than 10 units) appear particularly problematic, potentially subjecting residents to forms of ‘slow violence’ that could have long-term consequences for their physical and mental health. The paper also finds that, on average, PDR conversions are marginally more affordable than other new developments in the capital, but are also more expensive per square metre, suggesting deregulation is allowing developers to ‘extract’ maximum value from these schemes rather than providing affordable homes per se. The implications of this are discussed in relation to the politics of housing in London and the wider forms of planning deregulation allowing developers to accrue increased profits from housing in an era of intense financialization.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Early online date15 Nov 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Nov 2023

Keywords

  • housing
  • planning
  • neoliberalism
  • residential amenity
  • Adequacy
  • affordability

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Planning deregulation as solution to the housing crisis: The affordability, amenity, and adequacy of Permitted Development in London'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this