Onwards and Upwards

17th August 2020

In a bid kick-start the economy amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government has published their newly amended General Permitted Development Order (July 2020) with the aim of reducing the ‘red-tape’ and expanding the parameters of development permitted without the need for express planning permission.

In tandem with the changes in permitted development rights (PDRs) also comes the reform of the Use Class Order, which comes into force on 1st September 2020 and will affect the permitted development allowances for changes of use come July 2021.

As with most changes to PDRs over the years, they always come with their nuances, quirks and finer details (which we are always on hand to help our clients understand and/or navigate), but for the purposes of this short article we set out a summary of the changes below.

Demolition and Rebuilding of Commercial to Residential

In an effort to create more homes, the government have introduced a new permitted development right to allow vacant and redundant free-standing buildings which were used for either commercial purposes,  light industrial premises or residential blocks of flats, to be demolished and replaced with new residential units. At the same time the right will allow up to 2 storeys to be added to the height of the original building, as long as the resulting residential building is no higher than 18 metres.

Building Upwards

New PDRs have also been introduced to extend buildings upwards, again in an effort to create new homes and living spaces.

This follows on from our article Going Up, which covers the new provisions introduced on 24th June and into force in August, allowing for purpose-built freestanding blocks of flats to be extended upwards by a maximum of 2 additional storeys up to a total height of 30m.

There is now a second phase of new Permitted Development Rights being introduced to allow the upward extension of up to 2 additional storeys on free standing blocks, up to a height of 30 metres, and on buildings in a terrace (of 2 or more buildings) ‘in certain commercial uses’. They also allow up to 2 additional storeys on existing houses, detached or in a terrace, to create new self-contained homes or additional living space up to a height of 18 metres. Single storey homes will be able to add 1 additional storey.

All the changes detailed are subject to conditions and the right is subject to prior approval, authorised by the local planning authority. However, these latest rights apply to a wide range of properties and welcome an array of development opportunities to developers and homeowners alike. Here at Bell Cornwell we routinely advise, prepare and submit prior approval applications for our clients, so if this is of interest to you, please get in touch to discuss any potential opportunities further.

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