Back in May the UK Government made changes to the use class system to introduce permitted development rights for a number of changes of use, including from office use to residential. Though this is subject to prior planning authority approval and a number of authorities have secured exemptions to this concession.
A further Government consultation proposes new permitted development rights in five areas:
• To create a permitted development right to assist change of use and the associated physical works from an existing building used as a small shop or provider of professional/financial services (A1 and A2 uses) to residential use (C3);
• To create a permitted development right to enable retail use (A1) to change to a bank or a building society;
• To create a permitted development right to assist change of use and the associated physical works from existing buildings used for agricultural purposes to change to residential use (C3);
• To extend the permitted development rights for premises used as offices (B1), hotels (C1), residential (C2 and C2A), non-residential institutions (D1), and leisure and assembly (D2) to change use to a state funded school, to also be able to change to nurseries providing childcare; and
• To create a permitted development right to allow a building used for agricultural purposes of up to 500m2 to be used as a new state funded school or nursery providing childcare.
The consultation document goes into more detail about each of these new permitted development rights.
The consultation period ended on 15 October 2013. The Government has said that any changes would be made “for April 2014”
What role the local planning authority prior approval process will play in relation to these further permitted change of use and associated works rights is unclear. Nor is it clear whether and to what extent the property must have been redundant for it’s former purposes. In relation to change of use from retail it would appear that the planning authority will be entitled to look at the proposal’s implications for the retail environment and stock.
As usual this blog is posted as a matter of general interest. It does not replace the need to take proper legal advice in individual cases.