Industry Information

Make sure parking issues don’t block your office to residential scheme

April 27, 2023

Changing working practices and stricter energy efficiency requirements for commercial property are driving significant shifts in the market for office space.

Demand favours modern, energy-efficient office accommodation in areas with good amenities. This leaves a lot of unwanted older office space in less favoured locations.

One option is to turn these buildings into residential units. In most cases this is possible under permitted development rights. But there are a few potential complications, which can include car parking.

Prior approval for office to residential conversion

Even where full planning approval isn’t needed, obtaining prior approval is likely to involve submitting a transport & highways impact survey. Having a solution to the inevitable question of ‘where are all these people going to park?’ will in many cases eliminate a major source of potential objections.

Desirable sites for office to residential conversion are likely to be in town and city centres where parking spaces (not to mention space generally) is already at a premium.

A small-footprint, cost-effective multi-storey car park that’s easy to install could be the critical factor that unlocks a potential conversion project.

Convenient and sustainable parking

Octavius and Siderpark have developed just such a solution. It’s a unique modular system that uses a lightweight steel frame that can be rapidly assembled. In many cases there’s no need to dig foundations. The structure also allows large internal spans to maximise parking density.

Having parking right next to the development is certain to make it more appealing to residents. Another benefit is that EV charging points and even PV panels are easy to install, making the development more sustainable.

A similar approach can be deployed for unwanted former department stores. Many of these sites are being considered for mixed residential/retail developments. There may be a small parking or loading bay area that could easily house a compact modular car parking solution.

If you’re considering converting a redundant office building into residential units, talk to Octavius. We may be able to resolve any parking concerns before you submit the scheme for approval. We offer an end-to-end design and installation solution along with flexible financing options.

You can find out more by accessing our resource centre. or contact Barry Goss (

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