Permitted development rights are set to change. Here’s what you need to know from the Aitchison Raffety team.

Michael Gove has announced on an extension to the law allowing commercial buildings to be converted into homes without planning permission. We look at how this could be of benefit to our clients.

Enhanced opportunities for reusing existing buildings

Permitted Development rights allow under Prior Approval submissions, the conversion of Offices to a range of uses.  This is subject to consideration of a more limited range of issues compared to a full planning application. These include flood risk, noise, contamination, transport, and highway impacts.

Class MA currently allows for changes of use of a building and land within Class E (commercial, business and service uses) to residential use (Class C3). Currently, there is an upper floor area limit of 1500 sqm for such conversions.  Proposed new legislation expected to come into force in the coming weeks is suggesting that this will be increased to 3,000 sqm, if any limit is imposed. Currently, such buildings also have to be vacant for 3 months prior to the submission of the applications, and this again is intended to be removed as a stipulation.


Broader geographical areas to explore

Whilst there are some limitations in place geographically, with several local authorities being exempt from Class MA conversions (much of Central London, Greater Manchester, East Hampshire), the legislation changes are indicating that it will now apply to AONBs, National Parks, and the Broads.

Jonathan Weekes, Technical Director, Planning comments,

“These changes will enhance the opportunities for reusing existing buildings, whilst many other sections of the Prior Approval system allow the conversion of many redundant buildings to a wide array of new uses without the need for full planning consent, enabling quicker, cheaper, and easier changes of use to buildings and land.”


Property Advice at every stage

We have experienced teams nationwide to advise on all aspects of your property lifecycle.  From acquisition to disposal, find out more on how we can help you.  Contact Gerard Barry  Head of Transactional and Capital Markets or Jonathan Weekes, Technical Director – Planning, for further information.