Extension of permitted development rights for homeowners and businesses

Extension of permitted development rights for homeowners and businesses

What is permitted development?

The Secretary of State may, by development order, grant deemed planning permission for specified development or classes of development (section 59(1), Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990)).

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (SI 1995/418) (GPDO 1995), created under section 59(1) of the TCPA 1990, is effectively a national grant of planning permission.

Schedule 2 to the GPDO 1995, grants planning permission for certain development described as "permitted development" including:

  • Development within the curtilage of a dwelling house (Part 1, Schedule 2, GPDO 1995).
  • Changes of use (Part 3, Schedule 2, GPDO 1995).

Permitted development is still development for which planning permission is required. It is just that the application process is dispensed with and permission is deemed to have been granted.

Local planning authorities (LPAs) can also extend permitted development rights locally by making local development orders.

Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2013 (SI 2013/1101)

In November 2012, the government consulted on proposals to extend permitted development rights for homeowners and businesses.

On 7 May 2013, the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2013 (SI 2013/1101) (GPD(A)O 2013) was made and comes into force on 30 May 2013. The proposals amend the GPDO 1995 in relation to England only.

Changes to the GPDO 1995

Development within the curtilage of a dwelling house (Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the GPDO 1995)

Longer single storey rear extensions

The permitted depth of a single-storey rear extension will increase from:

  • Four metres to eight metres for detached houses.
  • Three metres to six metres for all other houses.

Limitations and conditions will apply in an attempt to reduce the impact on neighbouring properties and the wider area.

For schemes that fall between the existing and new limits a prior approval procedure will need to be followed. The developer must notify the LPA before starting development. The LPA will notify the neighbouring properties. If the neighbours object the LPA will determine whether the impact of the extension on adjoining properties is acceptable.

Development must not start until one of the following has occurred:

  • Receipt by the developer of a written notice from the LPA that prior approval is not required.
  • Receipt by the developer of a written notice from the LPA that prior approval is given.
  • 42 days have expired following the date the LPA received details of the proposed extension and the LPA has not notified the developer that prior approval is given or refused.

The changes will apply from 30 May 2013 to 30 May 2016 but will not apply in protected areas.  At the end of the three year period the government will consider extending the scheme.

(Article 4, GPD(A)O 2013.)

Minor operations (Part 2 of Schedule 2 to the GPDO 1995)

Schools to be allowed to build higher boundary walls or fences

Schools will be able to build higher boundary walls or fences adjacent to a highway, provided they do not create an obstruction which is dangerous for highway users. School is defined to include buildings that qualify for the right to change temporarily to use as a state-funded school under new class C of Part 4 of Schedule 2 to the GPDO 1995 (Article 4, GPD(A)O 2013.)

Changes of use (Part 3 of Schedule 2 to the GPDO 1995)

Change of use for business premises

Floorspace in business premises that may change from use class B1 (business) or B2 (general industrial) in the Schedule to the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (SI 1987/764) (UCO 1987) to use class B8 (storage and distribution) or from use classes B2 or B8 to use class B1, will increase from 235 square metres to 500 square metres (Article 6, GPD(A)O 2013).

Change of use from offices to dwelling houses

A new class J is inserted into Part 3 of Schedule 2 to the GPDO 1995. Class J grants planning permission for a change of use of a building and any land within its curtilage from class B1(a) (offices) to a use falling within class C3 (dwellinghouses).

Development is not permitted where:

  • The building is on article 1(6A) land.Article 1(6A) land is areas of land within seventeen councils where development is not permitted for the conversion of offices to residential.Note added 30 December 2013: On 20 December 2013, the High Court dismissed a challenge by the London boroughs of Islington and Richmond-upon-Thames over the Department of Communities and Local Government's refusal to grant article 1(6A) status to certain areas within their boroughs.
  • The building was not used for class B1(a) (offices) immediately before 30 May 2013, or if the building was not in use immediately before that date, when it was last in use.Only buildings actually used as class B1(a) offices will have the benefit of this permitted development right. This will avoid developers building offices with the intention of side-stepping the requirements for residential planning permission. It will also prevent a developer who has built an office building but found it impossible to let from benefiting from the new permitted development right.
  • The use of the building as a dwellinghouse was begun after 30 May 2016.
  • The site is, or forms part of, a safety hazard area.
  • The site is, or forms part of, a military explosives safety area.
  • The building is a listed building or a scheduled monument.

The permission is subject to conditions. These include the requirement to obtain prior approval from the LPA in relation to transport, highways, contamination and flooding.

(Article 6(2), GPD(A)O 2013.)

However, express planning permission from the LPA may still be needed for any external works to the building in carrying out the conversion.

Change of use of certain buildings to state-funded schools (free schools)

A new class K is inserted into Part 3 of Schedule 2 to the GPDO 1995. Class K enables buildings falling within classes B1 (business), C1 (hotels), C2 (residential institutions), C2A (secure residential institutions) and D2 (assembly and leisure) of the UCO 1987 to change use to a state-funded school, subject to the approval of the LPA regarding transport, highways, noise impacts and contamination.

Development is not permitted where:

  • The site is, or forms part of, a military explosives safety area.
  • The site is, or forms part of, a safety hazard area.
  • The building is a listed building or a scheduled monument.

New class L allows the change of use of land from a use permitted by class K to the previous lawful use of the land.

(Article 6(2), GPD(A)O 2013.)

For one academic year, buildings in any use class will be able to be used as state-funded schools..

Change of use of agricultural buildings

A new class M is inserted into Part 3 of Schedule 2 to the GPDO 1995. Class M allows existing agricultural buildings and any land within its curtilage to change to a flexible use falling within one of the following use classes:

  • Class A1 (retail).
  • Class A2 (financial and professional services).
  • Class A3 (restaurants and cafes).
  • Class B1 (business).
  • Class B8 (storage and distribution).
  • Class C1 (hotels).
  • Class D2 (assembly and leisure).

Development is not permitted if:

  • The building has not been solely in agricultural use since 3 July 2012 or if the use began later than that date, for a period of at least ten years.
  • The cumulative floor space of buildings which have changed use under class M within an original agricultural unit exceeds 500 square metres.
  • The site is, or forms part of, a safety hazard area.
  • The site is, or forms part of, a military explosives safety area.
  • The building is a listed building or a scheduled monument.

The change of use is subject to a number of conditions. This includes the requirement that before beginning the development the person relying on the right must notify the LPA. If the change of use relates to more than 150 square metres of floorspace the new permitted development right is subject to prior approval of the LPA in relation to transport, highways, noise impacts, contamination and flooding.

(Article 6(2), GPD(A)O 2013.)

Prior approval procedure and interpretation

New paragraphs N and O are inserted into Part 3 of Schedule 2 to the GPDO 1995.

Paragraph N sets out the procedure to be followed where a developer is required to apply for prior approval to the LPA under any class falling within Part 3. The procedure is similar to the existing prior approval procedures under Schedule 2 to the GPDO 1995.

Paragraph O inserts a new interpretation provision for Part 3.

(Article 6(2), GPD(A)O 2013.)

Before 30 May 2013, prior approval processes applied to a range of permitted development including agriculture and forestry, telecommunications and demolition of buildings. Following 30 May 2013 the prior approval procedure will acquire more importance. The importance of diarising time scales remains extremely important.

Temporary buildings and uses (Part 4 of Schedule 2 to the GPDO 1995)

Temporary use as state-funded school

A new class C is inserted into Part 4 of Schedule 2 to the GPDO 1995.

Class C grants a temporary permitted development right allowing any building and land within its curtilage to be used as a state-funded school for a single academic year.

Development is not permitted if:

  • The existing use of the site is not a class of use specified in the Schedule to the UCO 1987.
  • The site is, or forms part of, a safety hazard area.
  • The site is, or forms part of, a military explosives safety area.
  • The building is a listed building or a scheduled monument.

The permitted development is subject to conditions.

Re-using existing buildings

A new class D is inserted into Part 4 of Schedule 2 to the GPDO 1995.

Class D permits any building and land within its curtilage falling within one of the following use classes to change to a flexible use falling within either use class A1, A2, A3 or B1:

  • Class A1 (retail).
  • Class A2 (financial and professional services).
  • Class A3 (restaurants and cafes).
  • Class A4 (drinking establishments).
  • Class A5 (hot food takeaways).
  • Class B1 (business).
  • Class D1 (non-residential institutions).
  • Class D2 (assembly and leisure).

The new use may only be for a single continuous period of up to two years.

The permitted development is subject to conditions.

Development is not permitted if:

  • The change of use relates to more than 150 square metres of floorspace in the building.
  • The site has at any time relied on the permission granted by class D.
  • The site is, or forms part of, a safety hazard area.
  • The site is, or forms part of, a military explosives safety area.
  • The building is a listed building or a scheduled monument.

(Article 7, GPD(A)O 2013.)

Industrial and warehouse development (Part 8 of Schedule 2 to the GPDO 1995)

Permitted development right to erect, extend or alter industrial and warehouse premises will increase from 25% of gross floor space or 100 square metres (whichever is the lesser) to 50% or 200 square metres. This new permitted development right is temporary and will expire on 30 May 2016. A number of conditions are imposed (Article 8, GPD(A)O 2013).

Electronic communications code operators (Part 24 of Schedule 2 to the GPDO 1995)

In relation to article 1(5) land, the construction, installation or replacement of telegraph poles, cabinets or lines for fixed-line broadband services will not require prior approval under paragraph A.3 of Part 24 for a five year period. In order to rely on this change, development must be completed by 30 May 2018 (Article 9, GPD(A)O 2013).

Schools, colleges, universities and hospitals (Part 32 of Schedule 2 to the GPDO 1995)

Part 32 of Schedule 2 to the GPDO 1995 is amended to give buildings which qualify for the right to change temporarily to school use under new Class C of Part 4 of Schedule 2 the benefit of existing permitted development rights which allow schools to carry out certain building works subject to various conditions and limitations. This will apply from the date the LPA is notified that the site has been approved for school use (Article 10, GPD(A)O 2013).

Office buildings (Part 41 of Schedule 2 to the GPDO 1995)

Permitted development rights to extend or alter an office building will increase from 25% of gross floor space or 50 square metres (whichever is the lesser) to 50% or 100 square metres subject to conditions. The new permitted development right will expire on 30 May 2016 (Article 11, GPD(A)O 2013).

Shops or catering, financial or professional services (Part 42 of Schedule 2 to the GPDO 1995)

Permitted development rights to extend or alter a shop, catering, professional or financial services establishment will increase from 25% of gross floor space or 50 square metres (whichever is the lesser) to 50% or 100 square metres subject to conditions. The new permitted development right will expire on 30 May 2016. The exclusion of development within two metres of the boundary of the curtilage is removed during this period except in relation to premises which adjoin land or buildings in residential use (Article 12, GPD(A)O 2013).

Source

Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2013 (SI 2013/1101).


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