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Update to Rules on Permitted Development

by Weldon Beesly on 20th July 2018

Welcome Changes to Rules on Permitted Development

Changes introduced by The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) Order 2018 increase the amount of development that is possible without the need for a full planning application. Permitted development requires the submission of a Prior Notification to the local authority which is a simpler process than a full planning application.

Agricultural Buildings to Residential Dwelling Houses (Class Q)

This has been popular since it was introduced in 2014. Previously it was possible to convert up to 450sqm of agricultural buildings to a maximum of three dwellings. The recent changes increase the amount of permitted development so that it is now possible to convert agricultural buildings to:

  • A maximum of three larger dwellings with a combined total floor area of 465sqm or;
  • A maximum of five smaller dwellings with a maximum floor area of 100sqm each or;
  • A combination of the above with no more than five dwellings of which three can be larger dwellings

This last option potentially allows the conversion of a maximum of 865sqm, i.e. one larger dwelling of 465sqm and four smaller dwellings at 100sqm each.

These permitted development rights do not apply to listed buildings or buildings located in a conservation area, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), a national park or other similarly restricted areas.

Prior Approval must be sought in respect of transport and highways impacts, noise impact, contamination risks, flooding risks, location or siting, and the design or external appearance of the building.

Storage/Distribution to Residential (Class P)

This temporary permitted development right which allows to the conversion of up to 500sqm of B8 ‘storage and distribution’ to C3 ‘residential use’ has been extended to 19 June 2019. The development must be completed within three years of the Prior Approval date.

New Agricultural Buildings

The permitted development right relating to agricultural buildings have remained much the same for a number of years. Due to the increasing size of modern agricultural buildings these rights were becoming of limited use. However, the recent changes mean that it is now possible to construct a new building of up to 1000sqm in size with Prior Approval rather than 465sqm as previously.

The 28-day prior notification period remains meaning that agricultural buildings can be constructed relatively quickly if necessary.

Unchanged Permitted Development Rights

There are also a several other useful permitted development rights which remain unchanged.

Agricultural to flexible commercial (Class R) – Agricultural buildings under 500m2 are permitted to change to a flexible commercial use, comprising A1, A2, A3, B1, B8, C1 or D2 uses. This is subject to meeting certain criteria, and Prior Approval being sought in relation to uses over 150m2 in respect of transport and highways impacts, noise impact, contamination risks and flooding risks

Agricultural to school or nursery (Class S) – Agricultural buildings within land under 500m2 are permitted to change to a state funded school or a registered nursery.

Light industrial to dwelling houses (Class PA) – allows a change of use from B1(c) (light industrial) to C3 (dwelling houses) subject to limitations and conditions including the Prior Approval of the local planning authority in respect of certain matters. This is only applicable to applications received on or after 1 October 2017, for which Prior Approval is granted before 1 October 2020. Development must then be completed within 3 years of the prior approval date.

This is intended as a brief summary of permitted developments rights that relate to rural business and as such does not include full details of all the criteria and considerations. For further information and advice please contact Weldon Beesly.