The Bartlett School of Planning


Bartlett School of Planning research awarded significant funding

28 March 2023

The National Institute for Health and Care Research has awarded the funding of £2,034,755.37 to Dr Ben Clifford's research, 'Investigating potential health and health equality impacts of planning deregulation: The case of permitted development housing in England'.

Commercial to residential housing unit

Research summary

The research fills a vital gap in existing work to consider the health impacts and inequalities associated with permitted development housing in England. This will inform wider policy debate about whether deregulating urban planning supports healthier places.

Permitted development is a category of building activity not requiring full planning permission, the consent is usually granted by local government for development. Since 2013, a range of commercial buildings, such as offices and warehouses, can be converted to housing under permitted development.

Dr Ben Clifford has led previous research which has exposed their lower standards. It is known that, in general, there are negative health impacts from poor quality housing, but this has not yet been comprehensively investigated for permitted development housing. With over 100,000 homes created so far, this is an urgent public health issue. The research team comprising academic and non-academic partners with a unique combination of wide-ranging expertise will address this gap in current research.

Research Team

  • Associate Profssor Ben Clifford,
  • Professor Mike Davies, 
  • Associate Professor Helen Pineo, 
  • Dr Anna Mavrogianni, 
  • Dr James Milner, 
  • Ms Julia Thrift, 
  • Professor John Cairns,
  • Professor Robert Aldridge.

Read more information on the NIHR website.