OFFICE space in parts of Brighton will be exempt from being converted into homes.

Members of Brighton and Hove City Council confirmed a direction which means developers must obtain planning permission to change the use of offices to residential in central Brighton, New England Quarter and London Road, as well as the Edward Street Quarter and City Park office sites.

Councillor Jason Kitcat, chairman of the policy and resources committee, said: “We recognise the need for new homes in the city, but converting offices into housing in key employment areas means the space is no longer there to create the employment opportunities the city will need over the next 20 years.”

Property experts criticised the move for restricting development.