The latest changes to the GPDO (General Permitted Development Order) serve as a reminder to remain mindful of existing permitted development (PD) rights and the expiration of these. Changes of use under Schedule 2 Part 3 of the GPDO are subject to a series of conditions, including floorspace figures, where PD rights can be utilised. The majority are also subject to a prior approval submission to consider prescribed technical matters, such as highways, noise, flooding and contamination. Almost all changes of use under PD will require that the ‘development’ is completed within 3 years from the date the prior approval is issued.
A current exception to this is Class PA, comprising the change of use of a building and any land within its curtilage, from a use falling with Class B1(c) (light industrial) to a use within Class C3 (dwelling houses). In this case, prior approval must be in place prior to the 1st October 2020, following which the right is due to expire. The Development will then be required to be completed within 3 years from the date of issue. The associated determination period for a prior approval application is 8 weeks, so in order to take advantage of this PD provision, a submission needed to be made no later than July 2020. If you have missed this deadline, get in touch to explore other options for your project.
If you have already gained prior approval for any PD change but are nearing the end of the 3-year time frame for completion, you should do so as soon as possible to avoid breaching the terms of the PD rights. If you have not yet commenced and expiry of the approval is looming, a resubmission can be made, with a further 3 years for completion then applied upon the grant of prior approval. If you have started works in accordance with your prior approval already and are unable to complete within the required 3-year period, we would recommend discussing the specific situation with us to make sure your development is protected. If you are considering alternative development opportunities, it may still be worth reviewing your PD options as a ‘fall back’ position.
Currently the Government has not announced any formal plans to extend the Class PA temporary PD right. However they have introduced amendments to the GDPO which include extending residential blocks by up to two storeys (Going Up) and a new demolition PD rights (Onwards and Upwards). They allow for “vacant commercial buildings, industrial buildings and residential blocks to be demolished and replaced with well-designed new residential units”.
If you require any assistance or advice in relation to PD rights, including the preparation of a prior approval submission, we are here to help.
Jamie Wallace, Associate