The Manor Royal BID has responded to the Government's plans to extended permitted development rights that would allow commercial buildings to be converted to housing.
Along with changes to the use class system, if implemented these new rules would mean even the very largest offices could be turned into flats anywhere in Manor Royal without any controls or requirement to make a planning application.
It is the opinion of the Manor Royal BID that this would have a devastating and lasting impact on the business district and undermine its established use as a location for business and jobs. Introducing housing into Manor Royal in an unplanned way would also have a detrimental impact on business operations as it is likely that controls would need to be put in place to protect the quality of life of residents from the noise and disruption that are part and parcel of a business park like Manor Royal.
Following previous representations by the Manor Royal BID in 2015, Crawley Borough Council introduced an Article 4 Directive effectively removing this permitted development right in Manor Royal and preventing unplanned conversions of buildings to residential. This is still in effect and the Council is taking advice as to whether this would still protect Manor Royal in the longer term given the changes proposed by the Government.
The Chair of the Manor Royal BID, Trevor Williams, has written to the MP for Crawley, Henry Smith, to make him aware of these concerns.
Date Published: 28/07/2021