Alterations to the Town and Country Planning

In 2015 the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order was introduced which made significant changes to the planning system. These changes made it easier for homeowners to extend their properties and for commercial premises to change use.

The Government has recently ratified proposed changes to the Order, with new legislation enacting the changes coming into force on the 25th May 2019.

The relevant statutory instrument went before parliament on the 3rd May 2019 a link can be found here.

A number of significant changes are made to the Order as follows:

  • In respect of Part 1, Class A – permitted development for larger householder extensions, extensions between 3 and 6 metres for Semi-Detached and Terraced Houses and between 4 and 8 metres for Detached Houses were previously subject to an application for prior approval to the Local Authority with a deadline for completion and a requirement to notify the Authority upon completion. The prior approval process is still in place but there is no longer a deadline date for completion or a requirement to notify. In essence, this process which was originally a temporary measure has now been made permanent
  • In respect of Part 3, a new Class JA has been introduced for permitted development for a change of use of A1 (Shops), A2(Financial and Professional Services), A5(Hot Food Takeaways) or a betting office, payday loan shop or laundrette to a use falling within B1(a) Offices. This is subject to a number of restrictions including that the change of use relates to no more than 500square metres of space and a condition that an application is made to the Local Authority for prior approval. Clear guidelines are provided on the criteria to be considered in determining if prior approval should be granted including the impacts upon the highway, the impact of noise and disturbance from the surrounding premises on future occupiers and the impact of the conversion upon adequate services. There is a 3-year timescale to implement the permission once prior approval is granted
  • Under Part 3, Class M the conversion of A1/A2 properties to a dwelling house is allowed subject to the prior approval of the local Planning Authority, this has now been extended to include conversion from an A5 use into a dwellinghouse. As with Class JA there are restrictions on this which include the change of use to take place being limited to 150 square metres of space. As with class JA there are similar criteria to be considered in Class M which are already established
  • Part 4, Class D allows temporary flexible uses for up to 2 years, this has now been extended to allow flexible uses to include D1 Non-Residential Institutions. There is no requirement to make an application to the Local Authority for prior approval under this section

There are various other relatively minor changes and points of clarification made via the statutory instrument but the significant changes have been summarised above.


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