So you’ve got permitted development rights, have you?

How many times have you quickly looked through a planning permission and thought to yourself, we have planning permission for X and therefore we can use permitted development rights to switch to Y, without giving any further thought to the matter?

Many people do this on a regular basis. However, in certain circumstances, such an approach can lead to difficulty.

The General Permitted Development Order 1995 as amended (GPDO) allows a variety of changes of use which would ordinarily, without the Order, require planning permission. One of the most widely used provisions we have come across in recent times is the ability to switch from A3 (restaurants and cafes) to A1 (shops). It is very easy to glance at an A3 consent and form a view that you can use the rights to switch to A1 retail. However, this isn’t always necessarily the case…

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