Palace Capital plc, the property investment company focussing on property outside London, has secured consent for 139 apartments at Hudson House, Toft Green, York.
This consent has been secured under the UK Permitted Development legislation, pursuant to which property owners apply for a determination as to whether approval will be required for a change of use from offices to residential. The City of York Council has confirmed that no such approval will be required.
Issued on 4 February, the decision notice from the City of York Council states that the use of the building for residential purposes needs to commence no later than 30 May 2016.
However, Palace Capital believes that recent guidance from HM Government means that the approval will be valid until 4 February 2019.
This is based on the UK Communities Secretary’s response to an enquiry by the Chair of the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee about the Permitted Development legislation (in December 2015) which stated: "We will allow for those applicants who already have prior approval or who secure a new prior approval to have three years from the date of their approval in which to complete the change of use."
Palace Capital has been advised that the fact that the approval notice refers to 30 May 2016 will not prevent works being completed after this date as HM Government has indicated that it will extend the time for the Permitted Development right.
Built in the 1960s, Hudson House is a 103,000 sq. ft. office building that was originally occupied by Network Rail. The property is located close to York Railway Station and the recently acquired offices of the City of York Council.
Palace Capital also has a planning application currently with the City of York Council for a conversion of the existing building to 82 apartments and 37,000 sq. ft. of offices and these discussions are ongoing.
Neil Sinclair, chief executive of Palace Capital, commented: "York is not only one of the fastest growing cities in the UK, but the residential market in the City is particularly strong, both on sales and lettings.
“We are currently evaluating our options in the light of this approval and the imminent secondary legislation as to how we create further value from this important asset and will keep shareholders updated on the progress that we make.
"When we acquired the property in 2013, we identified Hudson House as a key asset from which we were confident that we could create significant value for our shareholders. I am delighted with the progress that we are making. There remain a number of other exciting opportunities within our property portfolio, where we are adding value through our active approach to asset management."