Supporting Housing Delivery and new Permitted Development Rights Consultation.
This week the Government launched significant proposals for changes in planning law by the proposed introduction of new permitted development right for the change of use from Commercial, Business and Service use class (Class E) to residential to create new residential homes in England (Class C3). Also, for the simplification of the existing permitted development rights.
This is your opportunity to comment.
The consultation is open until the 28th Jan 2021 and seeks views on any potential impacts on business, local planning authorities and communities from these proposed measures.
Read the full Government’s consultations proposals here: Government consultation for supporting housing delivery and public service infrastructure
Have your say and take the survey. Take the Survey Here: Public Service Infrastructure and Permitted Development Rights Consultation
The ‘Planning for the future’ white paper aims to address the need for a dynamic system which is more responsive to market needs whilst protecting the environment and amenity of local people.
These latest proposals in this important consultation follow on from the extensive changes to town centre use classes that were introduced in September. The September changes allowed greater fluidity to permit change of use across commercial premises, and thus largely removed the local authorities’ role.
Key points taken from this latest consultations’ proposals are:
- To “help tackle the housing shortage by enabling commercial premises to be converted into new homes while giving high streets a new lease of life …transforming unused and derelict buildings.”
- “It will go significantly beyond existing rights, allowing for restaurants, indoor sports, and creches etc to benefit from the change use to residential under permitted development rights for the first time.”
- Certain Community buildings such as pubs, theatres and music venues will be outside of the new rights to be converted to homes – recognising their vital community importance and heritage.
- Announcements for a “new fast track for public services buildings” including schools, colleges, universities, and hospitals where “investment in new public service infrastructure is planned and delivered faster and better.”
- No size limits on the buildings that could be included from this right to change to residential use. This could result in a significant number of new homes. “The councils’ role in managing such developments under the prior approval would be restricted to factors including flood concerns, noise, contaminated land etc.”
- “New homes will be delivered through a fast-track planning process instead of a full planning application. These homes will still be subject to high standards and brings “forward legislation to require that all new homes delivered under such rights meet the nationally described space standards and provide for adequate natural light.”
- Any application for prior approval would be accompanied by “detailed floor plans showing dimensions and proposed use of each room, including the position of windows”
- It is proposed that the right would not apply in national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty, but it would apply in Conservation Areas. “Some high streets and town centres are designated conservation areas, and therefore…could benefit from the right.” Enabling this new PD right in Conservation Areas “could attract more people to enjoy them and make them more sustainable”
- Local planning authorities would “benefit from reduced volume of planning applications” and the “community would benefit from the quality new homes”.
- Fees: It suggests that “The right has the potential to deliver significant numbers of quality new homes to buy or to rent. It is therefore proposed to introduce a fee per dwellinghouse” of £96 with the fee capped at 50 homes.
- Faster Decision Making: A key change is “to speed up the process of determining these planning applications is to provide for the statutory determination period for development within scope of the modified procedure to be 10 weeks, which will require local planning authorities to prioritise these decisions over other applications for major development.” Relating to post-permission matters “it is equally important that local planning authorities prioritise any subsequent post-permission consents for these projects, … to ensure the permission is readily implementable.”
These proposals – if passed as law, will have significant impact to the development process and construction industry at large. It gives possibility for a more fluid and faster planning process and to assist with speeding up public service infrastructure projects too.