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30-flat Gerrards Cross development sidesteps planning permission
PLANS for 30 apartments in a prime commuter location have been revealed, with developers using new planning rules to sidestep planning permission.
Inland Homes have secured two office blocks on Station Road, Gerrards Cross which they plan to begin making into flats as soon as January.
And while the chairman of Gerrards Cross Parish Council has cautiously welcomed the project, he warned investment in village infrastructure is needed if developments like this one become the norm.
The developer, which is also behind the bid to transform Wilton Park in Beaconsfield, does not need planning permission after using new legislation for converting commercial sites to residential.
Paul Brett, Inland Homes’ land director, said the majority of the flats will be one bedroom, with the smaller apartments likely to attract younger, first time buyers.
He said. "This acquisition is a good example of our creativity at Inland Homes.
“We have secured these buildings at an attractive price and made use of new legislation to convert the buildings without the need for planning permission, which should enable us to achieve a rapid return on our capital.
“The proposed new apartments will be priced at levels that will be attractive to both first time buyers as well as investors and we anticipate a fast sales rate."
South Bucks District Council confirmed it has received 'prior approval notifications' for a total of 31 apartments over the two buildings, with space given over for resident car parking.
Chris Brown, chairman of Gerrards Cross Parish Council, said although more housing is needed in the area, more projects like this could put a strain on village resources.
“It’s market forces at works really," he said. "With more and more people working from home and the price of business rates, it’s inevitable more offices will be converted in this way.
“We do need more housing in the area and while we would prefer the buildings to be used rather than lie empty, I do worry about the infrastructure to handle a lot more people.
“All our school places are full up and our doctors surgeries are non-existent, so more needs to go into those areas if these developments go ahead.”
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