Looking ‘up’ for development opportunities
29 April 2019 by Ellen Petersen
Fisher Jones Greenwood are currently acting on the grant of a new commercial lease of the whole of premises. The roof-space and airspace above the premises is however, specifically excluded from the demise. This is to allow the landlord to separately let this space for further development opportunities; including installations such as a mobile phone mast, photo-voltaic and solar equipment. The value of the space above a building is increasingly under consideration. With regards to both solar tech or communications equipment.
The National Planning Policy Framework
The sands are shifting too, with reference to housing considerations and achieving sustainable development: In 2018, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) incorporated airspace in its revised document and last October, it was announced that the government would consult on permitted development rights that could allow property owners to extend certain buildings upwards without the usual planning constraints. Further, the Greater London Authority (GLA) has included airspace within its draft London Plan.
The NPPF states that we “…must support opportunities to use the airspace above existing residential and commercial premises for new homes. In particular, they should allow upward extensions where the development would be consistent with the prevailing height and form of neighbouring properties. It is also important that the overall street scene, is well designed (including complying with any local design policies and standards), and can maintain safe access and egress for occupiers.”
Investors, funders and builders may well require some reassurance about building upwards; especially issues relating to the load-bearing capacity of a building. It is however, gratifying to know that policy makers are becoming creative in looking at long-term, sustainable development plans.
If you need help with a commercial lease or development opportunities, or any other legal matters, Fisher Jones Greenwood’s experienced team can help. Please contact us by calling 01206 700113 or email [email protected] to arrange a mutually convenient appointment.
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