The government has unveiled plans regarding the current temporary permitted development rights, which allow offices to be converted to homes and householders to build larger extensions without the need for planning permission, to be made permanent.
The proposals were unveiled earlier this week by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in a wide-ranging technical consultation on planning, which also includes plans to further broaden permitted development rights.
The new Permitted development rights allowed the change of use from offices B1 (a) to residential (C3), and were introduced for a period of three years from 30 May 2013 to 30 May 2016. Following an exemption exercise, 33 areas within 17 local planning authorities were made exempt from this temporary permitted development right.
In this week’s consultation document, the government proposed to introduce an amended permitted development right for change of use from office to residential from May 2016, which would replace the existing Office to Residential permitted development right.
The consultation document suggests that the exemptions would be removed from the 33 areas that successfully opted out from the changes of use rules. It says that the “exemptions which apply to the current permitted development right will not be extended to apply to the new permitted development right”.
The consultation document proposes an amended prior approval process for the permitted development right after May 2016.
The current permitted development right is subject to prior approval to consider the impact of the proposed development in relation to highways and transport, flooding and contamination.
The consultation says that under the plans the prior approval will continue to consider the impact of the proposed development in relation to highways and transport, flooding and contamination, however, the consultation goes on to add that prior approval would also consider the potential impact of the “significant loss of the most strategically important office accommodation.
The document also says that the government will be making an amendment to the existing permitted development right to “extend the time for completion for developments with prior approval from 30 May 2016 to 30 May 2019”.
The consultation also proposes that temporary permitted development rights increasing the size limits allowed for single storey rear extensions are made permanent. It proposes that the deadline to complete an extension using the existing temporary permitted developments by May 2016 would be removed.