New legislation changes make development more accessible


New legislation changes make development more accessible

New legislation laid before Parliament last week will allow development in certain areas and under certain conditions without the need for a planning application from a local planning authority. A number of new and amended parts of the GDPO (General Permitted Development Order) 2015 have now been approved and will take effect later this month on 25 May 2019.

The GDPO contains classes of developments which are permitted under parliamentary law and so do not require planning permission from local authorities unless an Article 4 Directive is in place which would override the GDPO. With upcoming changes to this legislation now confirmed, certain developments will now be ‘automatically’ approved; saving time and money for developers and local authorities.

So what are the significant changes?

1. Household prior approvals for large, rear, single-storey extensions, have now been made permanent.

The prior approval rights for the erection of a larger rear single-storey extension are now permanent and no longer have to be completed by the 30 May 2019 deadline. This change will enable further householders to benefit from a larger extension to their home (up to 6m for attached houses and 8m for detached houses) without the need for a full planning application. In addition, the developer no longer needs to notify their local planning authority of the completion of the development, saving time for both the developers and the local planning authorities. The prior approval process must still be followed.

Note: Developers who have already received prior approval no longer have to complete the development by 30 May 2019, including where this is set out in a letter granting prior approval.

2. New permitted development rights allow for a change of use from any of Class A1 (shops), Class A2 (financial and professional services), Class A5 (hot food takeaways), “betting office”, “pay day loan shop”, or “launderette” to become a Class B1(a) (office).

This change of use will come into effect on 25 May 2019, and as long as two conditions are met, a planning application will no longer be required. The two requirements are:

  • The building must have been used as Class A1, A2, A5, “betting office”, “pay day loan shop”, or “launderette” on or before 29 October 2018
  • No more than 500m2 of floor space can change use under this Class.

3. New change of use rights from Class A5 (takeaway) to C3 (residential dwelling)

The amended legislation also allows for the a change of use from a hot food takeaway premise to a residential dwelling as long as the changes and associated building operations are “reasonably necessary to convert the building”. The GDPO does however allow the local planning authority to assess whether the change of use is “undesirable” because of its impact on “adequate provision of services” to the community. The prior approval process is required therefore for change of use with building operations.


Please contact ET Planning if you are unsure as to whether a proposed development requires planning permission; we would be delighted to assist with associated guidance, prior approval or full planning applications.

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