News and Events

Planning, Permitted Development

  • Posted

Planning, permitted development, changes from 30th May

Some relaxation in planning restrictions comes into effect on 30th May 2013 under the pithily titled Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2013.  This statutory instrument extends permitted development rights for homeowners and businesses in respect of certain  building operations and changes of use.  ‘Permitted development’ is development which would otherwise require a specific application to the local planning authority but for which permission is deemed to be granted under a development order such as the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995.  The new Order amends the 1995 GDO, with effect from 30th May,  so that planning permission is deemed to be granted for certain development including :

Single storey rear extension.  The depth of the extension must not exceed 8 metres for a detached house (6 metres for other houses) which doubles the previous limits though there are new provisions requiring prior notification and approval before development is started. That process takes up to 42 days.

Change of use for business premises.   This is also an increase in the limits for an existing permitted development.  The use of floorspace of up to 500 sqm may be changed from use class B1 (business) or from class B2 (general industrial) to class B8 (storage and distribution) ; similarly space used for general industrial or for storage may be used for class B1 (business).

Change of use from offices to dwellings  This is a new provision enabling, with some exceptions,  a change in use from B1(a) offices to C3 dwellinghouses.  The exceptions are to avoid the use of hazardous areas and also to protect listed buildings. There are also some specific areas, mostly London Boroughs,  exempt from this permitted development / change of use.   

Change of use of agricultural buildings.   There is some small scope for the use of existing agricultural buildings, and land within the curtilage, to be changed to retail (class A1), financial and professional (A2), restaurants (A3), business (B1), storage and distribution (B8), hotels (C1) and assembly and leisure (D2).  There is a limit of 500 sqm for changes of use within an agricultural holding.                           

Re-use of existing buildings   Provided that the change of use relates to no more than 150 sq m, and subject to other conditions,  a temporary change of use  of a building within classes A1 (retail), A2 (financial and professional), A3 (restaurants and cafes), A4 (drinking establishments), A5 (hot food takeaways), B1 (business), D1 (non-residential institutions), D2 (assembly and leisure)to a flexible use within classes A1, A2, A3 or B1 is a permitted development.

Extension or alteration of office buildings, shops etc   The limit of Permitted development rights for extension or alteration double to the lesser of 50% of 100 sq m.

Schools.  There are also some specific provisions relating to schools and allowing minor operations such as building higher boundaries and also the temporary use of buildings for schools.

For further information, speak to the SWLaw Property team or see :

The Planning Portal

Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2013

Parliamentary Briefing