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The Midas Touch: June Seminar Round Up

Added on Jun 13, 2013

On Thursday 6th June, the Deriaz Slater Team welcomed business professionals from across Marlow to their 2013 Seminar; The Midas Touch. The session was packed with essential industry news for property owners and professional introducers across the Thames Valley, delivered by Paul Deriaz BA, MRICS, MRTPI, Managing Partner at Deriaz Slater LLP.

If you weren’t lucky enough to attend, here is your round up of the morning’s key commercial property topics:

  • Commercial Property Office Market update for the Thames Valley.
  • A look at the National Commercial Property Office Market
  • Overview of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2013
  • Viability considerations & Case studies for making the most out of recent changes to planning permission for office to residential conversions in the Thames Valley.

Commercial Property Office Market update for the Thames Valley

  • In 2012, the UK experienced a growth in office employment of 2.1%, establishing a long term average of 1.4%. Growth within the Thames Valley came second to London, showing fantastic potential for businesses throughout High Wycombe, Marlow and Maidenhead.
  • Structural changes in terms of floor plates and building layout is being shaped by a drive for economic efficiency in the work place.
  • As corporate businesses grow and develop, the focus of the business premises has shifted to one of better quality over the size of the property itself.
  • Business premises’ are waiting to be filled – Throughout Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead, the average take up in square feet dropped between 2011 and 2012 whilst that of High Wycombe and Marlow has increased.
  • With 80 million square feet of commercial office space available across the Thames Valley, there is ample opportunity to secure the perfect premises for new and existing businesses in the area.  It’s key to prevent long term average overstock of secondary offices as seen in areas like Slough.

Commercial Property Nationwide

  • It’s thought that throughout the UK, 25% of offices will not re-let due to being either locationally, functionally, or physically obsolete. E.g. In the wrong location, not fit for purposes due to changing technologies or repairs to building fabric being uneconomic to carry out.
  • Obsolescence sparks the question of ‘Should owners refurbish or convert their office space to keep offices occupied?’ Many companies are choosing to relocate as seen with Volvo on Globe Park, Marlow, who took a 36% reduction in floor space after moving to a newer building in Maidenhead, saving 25% on rent. In this case, the building left behind has seen a 75% drop in value over seven years!

Government changes to planning permissions to tackle redundant commercial office space

  • To tackle an oversupply of redundant office space across the UK, the government introduced the Growth and Infrastructure Act April 2013 that came into effect on 30th May 2013. It means agricultural buildings limited to 500 m2, retail buildings and offices will now have the opportunity to undergo development amendments without the need for planning permission.
  • Offices can now be converted into residential premises to deal with the over-supply of office stock and under-supply within the housing market. 

Office to Residential Conversions

  • Consideration factors affecting the cost of conversion from office to residential include; the building’s envelope (Heat gain and heat loss considerations), Layout, Noise, Service provisions, Amenities and Parking
  • Areas such as Mayfair could see an increase in value from prime office to prime residential space by £1000 (square foot).  In contrast, in Manchester, the difference in value in converting prime office space to prime residential could be as little as £5 (per square foot).
  • To see case studies of successful conversions from Office to Residential in the Thames Valley in Marlow, Maidenhead and Windsor, get in touch today.

Act now

  • All development changes under the new act must have taken place by May 30th 2016, giving those looking to take on a change of use project a three window to complete.
  • If you would like to find out more about this unique window of opportunity or obtain an assessment and feasibility report for converting your office space to residential, visit which aims to offer an innovative approach for simplifying the understanding and viability of office to residential conversions for property owners.


For more information call 01628 495509 or email


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