Permitted Development Rights… Good news for the high street & housing?
Commercial Property expert, Sophie Robins looks at some of the changes to Permitted Development Rights which came into force on 25 May 2019.
As part of extensive consultation on planning reform, Permitted Development Rights (PDRs) for premises on our high streets have recently been extended in the Government’s bid to support high streets and speed up the delivery of new homes.
The first new PDR to mention allows shops, hot food takeaways, betting offices payday loan shops and laundrettes to convert up to 500 metres square to office space without the need for planning permission. There is a catch however, as prior approval from the local planning authority is required before you can take advantage of this PDR. The types of matters the authority will review before giving prior approval are the impact on highways and the sustainability of the exiting shopping area. This is by no means as onerous or as time consuming as the consultation required when applying for planning permission.
Under these same regulations premises used as hot food takeaways can be converted to residential without planning permission provided it has prior local planning authority approval.
Existing PDRs that allow a two year temporary change of use from betting office, or payday loan shop to community uses such as exhibition hall, public library, museum, clinic/health centre, or art gallery (other than for sale or hire) have extended to three years.
In addition to the above changes, the temporary right allowing large single storey rear extensions to residential property has been made permanent, although the requirement to notify the local planning authority before commencing the works remains the same.
The Government has also confirmed that it intends to push ahead with plans to introduce PDRs to allow certain existing commercial and residential buildings to deliver additional homes despite the idea receiving a mixed response during the consultation exercise.
Obtaining planning permission for a development can be costly and the outcome uncertain. These new and extended PDRs will make these types of applications more straightforward from a planning perspective. However, it remains to be seen if these PDR changes will have a meaningful impact on the high street and increasing housing stock.
Permitted Development is a complex area and further exemptions may apply.
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