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Planning and environment

Permitted development – extension

In 2013 the government introduced important changes so that many offices could become residential under the permitted development regime (ie without the need to apply for planning permission). As we noted in our September 2014 issue (p27) there are now further proposals to extend the scope of office-to-residential conversions, and also other change of use categories.
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Permitted development – extension

The government is currently consulting over additional changes to the permitted development regime to allow more changes of use that do not require formal planning permission. In particular:

  • Office to residential permitted development right to be made permanent, while removing the exemptions that were granted in 2013. This would come into force in May 2016.
  • Change of use from light industrial units, warehouses, storage units, offices, launderettes, amusement arcades, casinos and nightclubs to residential.
  • A wider retail use class to bring most financial and professional services A2 uses within the current shops (A1) use.
  • New permitted development right to allow change of use from existing A1 and A2 uses and launderettes to restaurants and cafes (A3).
  • New permitted development right to allow retailers to alter their premises for ‘click and collect’ services.
  • Increase in the mezzanine floor permitted development areas.
  • To allow larger solar panels of up to 1mW on commercial buildings. 
  • The rules on extensions to houses and business premises introduced in May 2013 would be made permanent.

While these are still proposals, the likelihood is that they will go ahead. Needless to say, these could impact on the value of properties that are opened up for residential use.

 

Asset of community value – time lines

 

Source: Dentons.

 

Planning – appeals

Planning appeals are dealt with under s288 TCPA 1990. Appeals against enforcement notices are dealt with under s289. 

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Costs budgets – CPR changes

Important changes to the costs budgeting rules have been introduced for cases commenced on or after 22 April 2014:

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Change of use – permitted development

The big permitted development change in 2013 was the new rule making it possible to convert offices to residential use without having to apply for planning permission. Now, in 2014, we have similar permitted development rights allowing the conversion of shops (A1 and A2) to residential (C3), and also agricultural buildings to residential (C3).

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ACV – ‘material consideration’?

To what extent are the Assets of Community Value Regs 2012 relevant to planning decisions?

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Planning Court – fast-tracking

The Planning Court is a new specialist list within the QBD. Its jurisdiction covers planning permissions, wayleaves, highways, compulsory purchases, village greens, environmental legislation and planning policy issues.

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Change of use – office to residential

Last year, the government made it possible to convert offices to residential use without having to apply for planning permission. Only a few LAs successfully applied for exemption from these provisions.

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Meetings – non-planning councillors

Do local councillors who are not members of the LPA’s planning committee have the right to attend those planning committee meetings and address the committee? The answer, according to the High Court, is that they can, provided the LPA has not enacted rules to the contrary.

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