New permitted development rights

As has been trumpeted in the popular press, the coalition government’s efforts to relax the planning system have taken another step forward with the introduction of new and amended permitted development rights.

The changes include:

  • A doubling of the size of rear extensions to dwelling houses for a temporary period (to the end of May 2016)
  • Use of existing agricultural buildings for a variety of alternative uses, including retail, professional services, restaurants and cafes, business and light industrial, storage and distribution, hotels or leisure
  • Change of use from office use (Use Class B1a) to residential use
  • Temporary (2 year) change from retail (class A1), financial and professional services (A2), restaurants and cafes (A3), pubs and other drinking establishments (A4), hot food takeaway (A5), business (B1), non-residential institution (D1) or leisure (D2) to retail (A1), financial and professional services (A2), restaurants and cafes (A3) or business (B1).

It is also worth noting that if the government’s current consultation document “Greater Flexibilities for Change of Use” are anything to go by, these changes represent only the initial relaxation.

Most significantly the government is consulting on the change from existing shops as well as existing agricultural buildings to residential use.

The consultation envisages that in both cases the permitted development rights will include the necessary external changes required to facilitate the change.

In the case of agricultural buildings it is also suggested that this will permit up to three new dwellings (max floor space of 150 square metres) to be created and, even more importantly, will allow for the demolition and redevelopment of an existing building on the same footprint.

No more will it be necessary to live with decrepit and buildings ill-suited to residential use – these can be swept away and a new dwelling constructed. That is the present thinking, though this is subject to final approval following consultation. Watch this space for updates.

Should you be considering the future use of an existing building, PWA Planning can provide specific advice on the changing permitted rights. Contact us on 01772 369 669.