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Council cracks down on poor quality office conversions in Central Milton Keynes

The Labour and Liberal Democrat administration has taken another step to restrict developers’ rights when seeking to convert offices into poor-quality residential units in Central Milton Keynes.

An Article 4 Direction is expected to be approved at a meeting next week, meaning developers will have to apply for planning permission to convert offices into flats in the Central Business District of Central Milton Keynes.

Leader of the Council Pete Marland, said: “We aren’t against all office conversions, but we are against those that are done badly.”

“The government’s inconsistent and confusing planning rules can lead to bad development, but this decision means we’re able to protect Central Milton Keynes’ buildings and economy, and fight for good quality homes for our residents.”

The Direction will help maintain local planning control, as well as the amount of available office space in the area. Without it, the amount of funding developers need to provide for infrastructure and facilities would be reduced.

The new Article 4 Direction will come into force in October 2022, after a non-immediate Direction was approved in September 2021 and consulted on.

Councillor Robin Bradburn, Cabinet Member for Economy, Recovery and Renewal, added: “Without this Direction, the economy of Central Milton Keynes could take a real hit. We need office stock and floorspace for our local businesses, entrepreneurs, and start-ups.”

“I’m proud of MK’s resilient economy, and this decision will simply strengthen it.”

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