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Changes to Permitted Development Rights


New regulations concerning permitted development rights and development management procedure came into force on 15th April 2015.  The amendments aim to support communities and increase the housing supply by allowing local authorities greater flexibility in dealing with under-used buildings. In particular, the additional change of use rights introduced aim to allow high streets to adapt more quickly to changing market conditions in order to support growth in the economy. The implementation of these regulations will be of particular interest to anyone involved in dealing with and advising on developments and planning applications in England.

Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015

Permitted Developments allow certain types of building work and change of use to go ahead without express planning permission. The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 has introduced the following new provisions:-

  • The relaxation of planning requirements for larger rear extensions to residential properties will now expire on 30 May 2019.
  • The rights for extensions to commercial premises including shops, offices, industrial and warehouse buildings are now permanent in order to support business expansion.  
  • There is now a right to install solar PV panels with a generating capacity of up to 1 megawatt on non-domestic buildings to increase production of renewable energy.
  • Distribution centres, amusement arcades and casinos can now convert to residential use.
  • Shops, financial and professional services, betting offices, pay-day-loan shops and casinos can now convert to restaurants and cafes and can install extraction and ventilation units and waste storage and management.
  • Shops and financial professional services can now convert to assembly and leisure uses.
  • Shops can now convert to financial and professional services.
  • Betting offices and pay-day-loan shops will become sui generis (unique) but will continue to benefit from the permitted development rights to change to A1 and A2 uses and temporary changes of use for up to 2 years.
  • Buildings and land can be used temporarily for commercial film making purposes.  
  • Retail shops can erect click and collect facilities and increase the size of their loading bay by up to 20%.

Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015

Development Management Procedure Orders set out the procedures that must be followed by Local Planning Authorities in England in relation to the granting of planning permissions. The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015 has introduced the following new provisions:-

  • Following recommendations from the Rail Accident Investigation Branch there is now a requirement to notify railway infrastructure managers when a proposed development is in the vicinity of railway land.
  • A new procedure has been implemented that will allow planning conditions to be discharged when a Local Planning Authority has failed to deal with the application within the determination period.
  • There is a new requirement for local planning authorities to provide written reasons for imposing pre-commencement planning conditions in the decision notice.

NOTE: This note is intended as a legal update and should not be viewed as a definitive source of legal information or relied upon. These regulations only apply in England and do not apply to all buildings or developments. They may also be restricted by planning consents and will not apply to conservation areas, National Parks or listed buildings. If you are in any doubt as to whether the amended regulations apply to you please contact your local planning authority or Julian Rowden directly for further advice before undertaking any work.

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