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Property finance brokers want review of PDR regulations

Around two thirds (67%) of property finance brokers believe that regulations surrounding Permitted Development Rights (PDR) should be reviewed to prevent unsuitable developments, United Trust Bank (UTB) has revealed.

In its most recent Broker Sentiment Poll, UTB found that over a third (33%) of property finance brokers believe PDR regulations are fine as they are, with none suggested PDR should be scrapped.

Paul Turton (pictured), head of sales – property development, said: “Permitted development enables developers to create exciting and often affordable places to live in mainly urban areas – exactly the kinds of locations where new homes are most needed.

“According to the government’s Net Additional Dwellings data, PDR enabled the creation of around 45,000 new dwellings between 2015 and the end of November 2018 so it is an important channel for the provision of the new homes the country so badly needs.

“Although homes created under PDR are not subject to the same planning rules as new build, we believe that the majority of PDR developers wish to create new homes they can be proud of.

“A very small minority, who may exploit sites and over develop them, have potential to cast the whole sector in a bad light and we must be careful not to discourage or obstruct responsible developers for the sake of a few bad apples.

“Micro homes, utilising clever design and technology to maximise living space, can be affordable and enjoyable places to live.

“Rather than setting prescriptive rules, the challenge for the planning system moving forward is to make it harder for less scrupulous developers to create poor homes of any kind without also making it more difficult for good, responsible developers to create high quality places to live.”

Much of the recent criticism of PDR developments has focussed on the size of the units some of the schemes create.

Some 43% of brokers felt that the 37 metres squared minimum floor area of a new home set out in the Technical Housing Standards may be too small.

However, 57% agreed that units smaller than 37 metres squared, so called ‘micro homes’, could be good homes if they are well designed.

Nearly a quarter (24%) of brokers believe that minimum floor areas of new and PDR homes should be mandatory rather than as ‘standards’ which developers can choose to ignore.


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