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Jonathan Sklar

Trainee Solicitor - Uckfield

19th August 2020

Changes to the Permitted Development Rights – what’s happening?

What are Permitted Development Rights?

Permitted development rights (PDRs) allow landowners to carry out development without the need to obtain planning permission.  That can help free them up to get best value out of their premises – though the rights are frequently circumscribed by conditions or by the need to get ‘prior approvals’ from the local planning authority.

To help kick-start the economy in the wake of the pandemic, three sets of amending regulations have been introduced, amending the existing law relating to Permitted development rights. Some of the key changes are set out as follows:

Permitted development rights and extensions to blocks of flats

Perhaps the most significant amendment is the introduction of a new Permitted development rights permitting the construction of up to two storeys of flats on the “topmost residential storey on a building which is a purpose-built, detached block of flats”. It is important to remember that this new right is still subject to prior approval from the Local Planning Authority (LPA), as well as a number of limitations and conditions on how it operates, including:

  • the existing building must have been constructed between 01 July 1948 and 05 March 2018
  • the existing building must be at least three storeys in height
  • the extension would not extend the building over 30m in height
  • any buildings being converted into residential dwellings will need to satisfy the LPA as to the provision of adequate natural light in all habitable rooms.

Permitted development rights and temporary uses

Although the legislation already provides for temporary changes of use of land for a maximum of 28 days per year, the Regulations have now inserted a new Permitted development right to allow for such temporary use changes to be extended for an additional 28 days/14 days (depending on the use) between 01 July 2020 and 31 December 2020.

Permitted development rights and right to hold a market

Between the period 25 June 2020 – 23 March 2021, local authorities, or anyone on behalf of a local authority, will now have the benefit of a new Permitted development right to hold outdoor markets without the need to obtain prior planning permission (provided the proposed location is not within a site of special scientific interest).

Permitted development rights and house extensions

There are a number of new Permitted development right enabling existing dwellinghouses to be extended and new dwellinghouses to be built over commercial, mixed use or residential premises.

These apply to existing detached, semi-detached and terraced dwellinghouses where the existing building was constructed between 01 July 1948 and 28 October 2018.  As above, the right is subject to prior approval from the LPA.

Permitted development rights and demolition consent

Demolition of a disused detached building will be permitted where that building is replaced with a dwelling house or individual block of flats. This new Permitted development right is also subject to prior approval from the LPA and only applies to buildings constructed before 01 January 1990 that have been vacated for at least 6 months prior to LPA approval being sought.

Contact our Planning law solicitors in Brighton & Hove, Sevenoaks and Uckfield

If you have any queries or would like to discuss any of the amendments set out above in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact Jonathan Sklar e. t. 01825 744493 or Oliver Bussell e. t. 01732 440855.

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