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Changes to permitted development rights

Words: Laura Edgar
Eric Pickles

Communities secretary Eric Pickles has made a series of changes to permitted development rights.

In one of his last ministerial acts of this Parliament, Pickles said the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 alterations will take affect from 15 April 2015.

Changes include:

  • More change of use between shops and financial and professional services, allowing the change of use to restaurants or leisure use to support mixed and varied high streets.

  • Amusement arcades and casinos will be able to change to residential and carry out limited works to enable this.

  • The previously time limited right for larger rear extensions to dwelling houses is to be extended until May 2019.

  • There will be rights for the installation of solar panels on non-domestic buildings.

  • New permitted development rights for sewerage undertakers.

Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: “Making it easier for local authorities to repurpose buildings that are no longer used is an important part of creating thriving, vibrant communities. We are not under any illusion that turning casinos and storage centres into homes will solve the housing crisis, but these new permitted development rights will be a useful tool in increasing the flexibility of local authorities and helping them to breathe life back into under-used buildings.”

The government said it “will further consider the case for extending the office to residential reforms, which are helping to provide more new homes on brownfield land”.