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3rd October, 2017 by Acorus

New Permitted Development Rights - Light Industrial Use To Residential Use

Recent years have seen the introduction of a number of new permitted development rights, in particular for the change of use of buildings to dwellings in an effort to boost housing. So far these have included permitted development rights allowing the change of use of agricultural buildings, offices and storage buildings to residential use.

From the first of 1st October 2017 Class PA comes into force which allows the change of use of a building in light industrial use to a residential use.

Class PA of the General Permitted Development (England) (Amendment) Order 2016 allows ‘Development consisting of a change of use of a building and any land within its curtilage from a use falling within Class B1(c) (light industrial) of the Schedule to the Use Classes Order to a use falling within Class C3 (dwelling houses) of that Schedule.’

As with previous newly introduced provisions, various criteria apply. For example, development will not be permitted if the building was not used solely for a light industrial use on 19 March 2014 or when last in use before that date; the gross floor space of the existing building exceeds 500m2 or the building is listed or within the curtilage of a listed building.

If the building complies with the various criteria, an application for Prior Approval must be submitted to the Local Authority for a determination as to whether prior approval is required. The new right is available for three years. Therefore Prior Approval has to be sought by 1st October 2020. The Local Authority will consider various matters such as transport and highways impacts of the development, contamination risks in relation to the building, and whether the introduction of, or an increase in, a residential use of premises in the area would have an adverse impact on the sustainability of the provision of those services.

The Local Authority has 56 days from the date of the application in which to notify the applicant as to whether Prior Approval is required or not. Development can proceed if the Local Authority fails to notify the applicant within the specified time. However, confirmation of its lawfulness may wish to be sought thereafter. It should be noted that unlike Class Q of the General Permitted Order (agricultural buildings to residential dwellings), the new rights also apply in National Parks and Areas off Outstanding Natural Beauty.

As with previous new provisions, apart from Class Q, the ‘use’ can be changed under Class PA but any ‘physical changes’ to a building cannot and will therefore require planning permission.

Some buildings, especially former agricultural buildings, may have been in B1c light industrial use without the necessary planning consent. Therefore it may be necessary to apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness initially to prove the building is in said use and may benefit from permitted development rights under Class PA.

If you have a building you think may have the right to change use, contact Acorusand speak to one of our planning consultants.

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