Key changes to the planning regime come into force from 1 October 2013

Important legislation introduced at the end of May 2013 saw the relaxation of rules relating to when planning permission is required for certain changes of use. Part of the Department for Communities and Local Government’s (DCLG) ‘town-centre-first approach’, this was closely followed by the launch of a consultation on further extending permitted development rights. However, 1 October 2013 heralds the coming into force of even more far-reaching and diverse legislation, intended to simplify planning regulation and streamline the application and appeals procedures. But what impact do the changes have in practice? Are they likely to be effective? 

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act (ERRA) received Royal Assent on 25 April 2013. Its main purpose is to encourage long-term growth and simplify regulation, including via the introduction of changes to the conservation area and listed building regimes in England.

The ERRA abolishes conservation area consent as currently applicable to buildings in conservation areas, meaning a full planning permission application under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 is required. Under the ERRA (Abolition of Conservation Area Consent) (England) Order 2013, taking effect from 1 October, proposals to demolish certain unlisted buildings in conservation areas will be considered as part of the mainstream planning process, rather than automatically ‘permitted development’ as previously under the General Permitted Development Order 1995….

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