The 18,000 sq ft ‘Vantage’ building in Victoria Street at the ‘top of town’ is poised to be sold. It will be the latest in a number of office buildings sold for conversion to provide town centre apartments …. 29 units in this instance.
Permitted Development rights legislation backdates to 1995, essentially comprising a national grant of planning permission to allow certain building works and changes of use to be carried out without having to make a full planning application. In 2013, the legislation was extended by the Coalition Government to allow change of use from B1 offices to Class C3 residential. The concept, arguably “short termism”, was to increase the supply of new homes whilst reducing stocks of existing (and redundant) office buildings.
There is a strong argument against the loss of decent quality office buildings such as ‘Vantage’, particularly from town centre locations, however, market forces have dictated that values for residential conversion schemes have now superseded capital values in certain office locations. Basingstoke is the latest town to come under this sort of pressure, particularly as the commuter market is being seen as a growing source of demand in outlying towns, as workers in London find it increasingly difficult to secure living accommodation in the Capital.
Meanwhile, the supply of office stock in central Basingstoke continues to decrease, presenting an almost inevitable supply problem in a year or two, predictably just as demand will begin to surge again!
bdt have been directly involved in 4 town centre PD schemes over the last 12 months, selling ‘Vantage’, Sun Alliance House (in Wote Street), Wolverton House (in London Street) and acquiring Verum House in New Street on behalf of developers Equity Real Estate Ltd.
The deadline for the “implementation” of PD conversion schemes is May 2016, so unless extended by the new Government, activity in this sector is now likely to slow.
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‘Vantage’ Sun Alliance House
Wolverton House Verum House
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