As previously blogged the latest round of changes to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development Order) 1995 that came into effect on 6th April 2014, brought with it further relaxations in favour of residential conversions.
4 new use classes of permitted development were introduced which allows the change of use of existing retail/office and agricultural buildings to dwellings. There is also provision for the conversion of agricultural buildings to state-funded schools or nurseries allowing more sensitive commercial activities in rural areas as well as the change of use of A1 retail units to A2 financial and professional services such as banks, building societies and credit unions.
In addition, the change of use from an agricultural building to a dwelling can benefit from building works that are reasonably necessary in respect of the conversion.
There are of course conditions that need to be met including a prior approval notice to the Local Planning Authority. And the changes are not allowed across the board. The burden is therefore on the applicant/landowner to demonstrate that any technical issues arising such as flood risk, transport and highways impact, noise and land contamination would be acceptable.
Controls have also been put in place to ensure that those buildings that have already benefitted from a change of use or conversion to a dwelling under new Classes IA or MB do not benefit from permitted development rights under Classes A-E of the GPDO and would therefore require planning permission
Should you wish to progress proposals and are not sure if you can benefit from the change to the GPDO we are here to help and advise.
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