Council looks to protect key economic sites from residential conversion

Daventry District Council (DDC) is looking to prevent the conversion of key economic sites for residential purposes.

National legislation allows buildings used as offices to be converted into homes without the need to obtain planning permission, under what is known as a permitted development right. It was brought in by the government in 2013 to help developers convert empty office space for residential use, in order to boost house building.

DDC wants to stop this from happening in a number of economic areas, through the introduction of an Article 4 Direction removing the permitted development right.

The Direction applies to ‘Strategic Employment Areas’ designated in Brixworth, Crick, Woodford, and the Drayton Fields, Royal Oak and Marches industrial estates in Daventry, as well as to Daventry town centre.

The Strategic Employment Areas were designated in the Council’s newly-adopted Part 2 Settlements and Countryside Local Plan, as sites where it is felt industrial and commercial space should be protected and encouraged.

The Local Plan also seeks to create a vibrant town centre in Daventry, and DDC feels the loss of office space in that area could affect that.

People are invited to give their views on steps being taken to protect key economic sites in Daventry District. The deadline for comments is 5pm on Tuesday 7 April.