17/12/20 – 2020 – The year of change for the Planning System

Not content with the plethora of changes and addendums to the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO), updates to the Use Class Order and a White Paper seeking major changes to the planning system, MHCLG has now launched consultation on the latest changes to the GPDO: Prior Approval to allow a change of use from Class E to Residential. Following the updated Use Class Order in the Summer, this right would apply to retail, offices, light industrial, restaurants, gymnasiums, medical facilities and nurseries.

There are some geographical exceptions noted, but it would apply to the majority of locations across England, with submissions only needing to consider flooding; transport/access; contamination; noise; provision of adequate light; fire safety; and whether it would introduce residential uses into important areas for heavy industry and waste management.

Prior Approval submissions will not necessarily be granted consent, but it could have massive implications if implemented as currently written, given that there is no ‘need’ assessment undertaken for the existing facility within the guidance. Could this be the final nail in the coffin for the High Street as we know it?  Only time will tell if this consultation document is formally enacted in 2021.

For more information, or to discuss how this alteration may affect your property, please contact Jonathan Weekes on 07814 522016 or Jonathan.weekes@argroup.co.uk.