Local businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to find suitable office accommodation in the region caused, in part by the improving economy, but mainly due to the Government relaxing planning laws enabling the conversion of office accommodation into residential without the need for a full planning application.
Nick Reeve at Wadham & Isherwood commented that such a loss of office space to residential in the Surrey/Hampshire area is having a significant impact on the property market. Not only are businesses finding it more difficult to secure suitable premises but they are also now faced with rising rents as the balance of supply and demand tips firmly in favour of landlords.
Wadham & Isherwood calculate that in Farnham alone there have been eight major conversions which have led to the loss of approximately 50,000 sq.ft. of office space which should in theory house approaching 500 people. In the Blackwater Valley area, Wadham & Isherwood calculated that a further 650,000 sq.ft. of offices have been lost to residential and the wider South East region is facing the same problems. This office space has been lost with no plans for any new office development to take place.
Local Authorities generally are desperate to provide new residential accommodation without any thought as to where these new residents will be able to find employment. There are few if any proposed new business space developments within our general area.