The Prior Approvals Process & Permitted Development Right
Mary Anne Bowring, Director of the Ringley Group of Chartered Surveyors explains what the new legislation means.
Explaining the Prior Approvals Process & Permitted Development Right
New legislation means changes have been made under the new Permitted Development Right (PDR) for houses, schools, commercial and industrial sites with effect from 30 May 2013. These changes increase allowances for the extension of certain buildings or alter permitted
changes of use for certain buildings, for both temporary periods and sometimes for limited time frames. In essence this means that some types of development do not need planning permissions.
At the same time secondary legislation was laid before Parliament that has resulted in the increasing of the size of single-storey rear extensions to residential properties which can be built under PDR and brought into force the Associated Neighbour Consultation Scheme. For a period of three years between 30 May 2013 and 30 May 2016 under this new legislation householders will be able to build larger single-storey rear extensions under Permitted Development subject to receiving Prior Approval.
The prior approvals process applies to residential property, as well as commercial and retail allowing the change of use from B1(a) office to C3 residential for a period of three years, allowing A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, B1, D1 and D2 uses to change temporarily to A1, A2, A3 or B1 for a period of two years and increasing the size of permitted rear single storey extensions to homes to double in size.
Full details can be found in the Town and Country Planning guide, under General Permitted Development 2013. Interested parties will need to formally apply using the appropriate approvals forms. However, the rules can change so one should check what the latest position is before proceeding.
In addition to the new arrangements for certain householder extensions, the changes to Permitted Developments enables greater flexibility for temporary uses of buildings designated for shops, restaurants, caf©s & pubs and offices to be used as retail, restaurant/caf© or office space for up to two years.
The new flexible arrangements are conditional and subject to the developer meeting the requirements of a formal notification process. This requires the developer to notify the local planning authority of the date the site will begin to be used for one of the flexible uses.
A developer wishing to benefit from the Permitted Development Right for temporary uses must satisfy a number of conditions of the planning authority. Notifying the local planning authority of the date the site will begin to be used for one of its flexible uses is crucial. The user must also notify the authority as to what that use will be before the use begins. If at any time during the two year period a change of use falling within one of the other use classes comprising the flexible use is proposed, then the developer must notify the local planning authority in the same manner before the uses begins. The site will then revert to its previous lawful use at the end of the period of flexible use.
A successful outcome regardless of the project will be gained if the application process follows the guidelines as determined by the individual planning authority. Procedures may differ from authority to authority, however the process will inevitably follow the following steps:
To provide a written description of the proposed development. For change of use, this would include the date the site will begin to be used for one of the flexible uses, and what that use will be, before the use begins.
A plan indicating the site and showing the proposed development, comprising an OS site plan identifying the site in relation to its neighbours as well as a plan showing the floor space and any curtilage land involved.
The developers contact address and an e-mail address if the developer is happy to receive correspondence by email. A contact phone number is also desirable.
Notify the local planning authority of the date the site will begin to be used for one of the flexible uses, and what that use will be, before the use begins.
If at any time, during the two year period, a change of use falling within one of the other use classes comprising the flexible use is proposed, then the developer must notify the local planning authority in the same manner as above before the uses begins.
The site reverts to its previous lawful use at the end of the period of flexible use.
The Prior Approval system is intended by the government to be a quick fix exercise to eliminate proposals with potentially severe impacts. Awkward authorities may dig their heels in and not give prior approval, which potentially could stop developments. This could cause disputes between applicants and planning authorities over how much information should be submitted in a prior approval application. Up until now there have until now been differences between authorities as to how they go about the prior approval process. The changes to the Permitted Development Right have more clearly set out how the process should operate.
Mary-Anne Bowring is Managing Director of the Ringley Group, a property services company that provides private, commercial and industrial clients with a comprehensive range of property solutions. Mary-Anne has extensive knowledge of building law and the Landlord and Tenant Acts. Contact: email@example.com Web: www.ringley.co.uk
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