Dozens of homes in Daventry have been created by converting commercial buildings under controversial planning laws, figures show.
But the changes don’t require planning permission and the Local Government Association warns that they can result in poorer-quality housing, and developers to avoid building affordable homes.
Converting offices, farm buildings and takeaway restaurants is allowed under permitted development regulation and does not require full council scrutiny.
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government data shows 31 such homes were created in Daventry in the three years to March 2018.
The majority were farm buildings.
In total, commercial developments accounted for 2% of the new homes created in Daventry over the period.
For certain changes of use under permitted development, developers must get “prior approval” for technical aspects of the plans, but critics argue the process does not receive the same level of scrutiny as a full planning application.
An LGA spokesperson said the rules are taking away local communities’ ability to shape the area they live in.