Extension of permitted development rights for under-utilised properties

From 30 May, owners of under-utilised properties will have more opportunity to secure tenants, while those looking to dispose of their interests may have access to a wider market of prospective purchasers. After this date, the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2013 will permit the change of use of class B1(a) offices to class C3 residential dwellings. There will be no need to obtain express planning permission for this change of use.

Other development set out in the order that no longer requires planning permission includes the following: changes from a number of commercial uses to either retail, financial and professional services, restaurants and cafes or business use for a period of two years from the date on which the change of use occurs in a move that seeks to encourage the reuse of existing buildings; change of use of agricultural buildings to uses comprising retail, financial and professional services, restaurants and cafes, business, storage and distribution, hotel and assembly/leisure uses in an effort to boost rural enterprise; until 30 May 2016, increasing the maximum size threshold for industrial/warehouse building extensions to up to 1,000m² or 50 per cent of the gross floorspace of the original building (whichever is the lesser); and, until 30 May 2016, increasing the maximum size threshold for retail, catering, financial and professional services and office building extensions to up to 100m² or 50 per cent of the gross floorspace of the original building (whichever is the lesser).

All of the amendments set out above are subject to certain conditions prescribed in detail within the order…

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