New planning rules set to extend rights to change use without planning permission

The government published legislation at the end of last week that will relax the rules on when planning permission is needed for change of use. The new rules come into force on 30 May 2013 and are intended to assist regeneration and get empty and under-used buildings back into productive use.

The changes that will be introduced through an amendment to the General Permitted Development Order 1995, will allow for the first time the following changes of use without the need to obtain planning permission:

  • offices to residential use;
  • flexibility between high street uses;
  • agricultural buildings to a range of new business uses; and
  • opening of new state-funded schools…

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