Changes to Permitted Development Rights for A

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News article

Changes to permitted development rights for agricultural buildings 

February 2013

permitted development rights

The Department for Communities and Local Government have issued a statement outlining changes to permitted development rights which are set to come into force in Spring 2013.

It is proposed to alter permitted development rights to better enable the change of use from commercial to residential use and from agricultural to commercial use. It is anticipated that these changes will help the Government’s objectives to support economic growth, particularly within rural communities. 
 
The changes will be accompanied by a stringent prior approval  process for building conversions over a certain size (still to be confirmed), which will cover issues such as transport and highways, development in areas of flood risk, land contamination and safety hazard zones.
 
However, this process will represent a time and cost saving for applicants, with a prior approval application costing £80 with a decision period of 28 days; as opposed to a planning application which would cost £385 and have a decision period of eight weeks.
 
It is important to note that only the change in the use of the building will be covered by permitted development. Any external alterations or development such as a new access from the highway will still require planning permission.
 
The proposal to allow the conversion of agricultural buildings to commercial units under permitted development will provide opportunities for farm diversification. Whilst it is likely that only conversion from B1(a) offices to residential use will be allowed under permitted development, it is anticipated that acceptable uses for agricultural buildings will include offices, shops, restaurants, and leisure facilities including equestrian use.
 
Whist the new proposals do not allow conversion from agricultural use straight to residential use, there would be scope for this under the new rules by converting a building to B1(a) office use, and then into residential use at a later date.
 
The proposed changes will come into force in Spring 2013, although an exact date is yet to be announced. Whilst the new rights will initially be for a limited period of three years, this will be reviewed towards the end of that period and they may then be enforced indefinitely.
 
For further information contact the planning team on 01530 412821.
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