Out-Law Guide | 03 Sep 2020 | 3:51 pm | 4 min. read
The regulations amend the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (the GPDO) and will also make it easier for developers to extend existing homes, providing additional space for families. The government hopes the new rights will lead to a wider range of development and speed up the delivery of housing.
The changes to the use classes are currently subject to judicial review. It is anticipated that the challenge will be heard during the period 8 – 15 October. This guide reflects the position before that hearing takes place.
The Town and Country Planning (Permitted Development and Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 came into force on 1 August 2020.
These amended regulations introduce a new Class A into the GPDO – 'New dwellinghouses on detached blocks of flats' – which grants the right to extend purpose built blocks of flats upwards by two additional storeys. The blocks of flats must consist of three storeys or more before the extension and cannot have a total height of 30 metres or more with the additional two storeys.
The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) (No. 2) Order 2020 amend the GPDO and grant additional permitted development rights which take effect from 31 August 2020.
Four new permitted development rights, Classes AA-AD, are introduced into the GPDO. Each class allows work for the construction of one or two additional storeys, consisting of new flats, built on top of the highest existing storey of certain buildings.
Classes AA and AB permit new flats on detached buildings and terraced buildings respectively which are in commercial or mixed use as shops, for financial and professional services, restaurants and cafes, offices, betting offices, pay day loan shops, or launderettes or in a mixed use combining one of those commercial uses with use as a dwellinghouse. For Class AA only, the building must already be three storeys in height, above ground level, to rely on the permitted development right.
Classes AC and AD permit new flats on terraces or detached buildings respectively which are in use as single dwellinghouses. In both cases the right is not permitted if the house has already been enlarged by the addition of one or more storeys above the original structure.
The new rights are subject to prior approval from the local planning authority and so an application must be made in each case. Matters which the local authority will consider include potential highways impacts; impact on neighbour and occupier amenity, including the extent to which the development would overlook others, invade privacy or curb natural light on other property; the external appearance of the building; the provision of adequate natural light in all habitable rooms of the new homes; the impact of noise from existing commercial premises on the intended occupiers of the new homes; impacts a taller building may have on air traffic and defence assets; and the impact on protected vistas in London.
Local planning authorities are required to consult certain persons or bodies where specific impacts are identified. For example, where the local authority think there will be increased traffic as a result of the development, it must consult the relevant highway authority. Prior approval applications must be refused where inadequate natural light is provided.
The local planning authority is required to make a decision on an application for prior approval within eight weeks. If a decision has not been made within eight weeks there is a right of appeal to the planning secretary in England for non-determination of the prior approval application.
Each new permitted development right is subject to very specific conditions and limitations which must be carefully considered in each case. There are some common conditions which apply to all five classes:
In addition to the new rights, The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) (No. 2) Order 2020 also introduces a new Class AA – 'Development within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse' – within Part 1 of Schedule 2 of the GPDO. This enables homeowners to extend existing homes by up to two additional storeys on a two, or more, storey home and one additional storey on a one storey home. The rights are subject to detailed conditions and limitations.
03 Sep 2020
03 Sep 2020