Onwards and Upwards: New Permitted Development Rights

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Reducing the red tape with changes to the General Permitted Development Order

As part of the bid to kick-start the economy amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government published the 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) the reform of the Use Class Order was also introduced, which came into force on 1st September 2020.

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 introduced permitted development rights 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

PDRs were also 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 covered the new provisions which came into force in August 2020, 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.

In addition to the above Permitted Development Rights allow for 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 are 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 PDRs 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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