Legislative Changes Overview

August 2020

Introduction

Recent times have seen the most significant legislative changes to English planning in short order, including to permitted development rights that I have seen in the last 30 years. The changes are summarised as follows.

This document is intended to be an initial guide for clients of Scroxton and Partners only and is not intended to be definitive. The reader is strongly advised to contact Scroxton and Partners or the relevant Local Planning Authority for advice on what rights are conferred and the associated restrictions before proceeding further.  

In time, there is the potential for Councils to seek to restrict the exercise of the new permitted development rights through the imposition of Article 4 Directions on geographical areas.  A check for such Directions should be made at an early stage.

Provision of adequate daylight

From the 1st August 2020 applications for prior approval under Classes M, N, O, PA and Q in Part 3 of Schedule 2 of the General Permitted Development Order will now need to include a demonstration of the provision of adequate natural light to all habitable rooms.

Fast tracked pavement licenses with immediate effect

Provision of moveable table and chairs on pavements for pubs and restaurants – 7 day Council processing.

Fast tracked applications to modify construction hours with immediate effect up to 1/4/2021

Ability to extend construction working hours with expectation that Council will support applications. Subject to a 14 day determination period.

 

 

Reviving or extending planning permission and Listed Building consents. Comes into force on 18th August.

Full pp’s and consents expiring between 19/8 and 31/12/2020 extended automatically to no later than 1/5/2021.

Planning permissions and listing building consents expiring between 23/3 and 18/8 can be extended subject to additional environmental approval from the LPA confirming that the development was not subject to EIA or Habitats Reg Assessment or screening opinions for either type of assessment or – if already subject to such assessments/screening – such assessments remain fit for purpose. 28 day Local Planning Authority  determination period.

For outline planning permission – requiring submission of reserved matters expiring between 23/3 and 31/12/2020 extended automatically to require submission no later than 1/5/2021.

Outline planning permissions  requiring development to be begun between 19/8 to 31/12 automatically extended to no later than 1/5/2021.

Outline planning permissions requiring development to be begun between 23/3 and 18/8 subject to additional environmental approval (same provision as per full pp’s). If approved, development to be begun no later than 1/5/2021.

Discretionary deferral of Community Infrastructure Levy  for up to 6 months for SME’s (less than 45m turnover). Provision to apply to defer available up to 31/7/2021 subject to:

  1. Served with demand notice requiring payment between regs coming into force (expected soon) and 31/7/2021.
  2. Evidence (accounts) required of financial difficulties for reasons connected to Covid-19.
  3. Deferral requests to be submitted no more than 14 days before payment is due, when it is due or as soon as practical afterwards.
  4. 40 day Council determination period.
  5. No right of appeal if ‘no’.

Significant changes to the use classes intended to provide greater flexibility to change uses without planning permission within town centres. Comes into effect on 1st September 2020.

Introduces 4 new use classes:

  1. Class E (commercial business and service) – includes A1 (shops), A2 (financial and professional), A3 (café and restaurants), D1 (creche and nurseries), D2 (indoor sports/fitness), B1 a, b and c (offices (not A2), R&D and light industrial).
  2. Class F.1 (learning and non-residential institutions)
  3. Class F.2 (local community)
  4. Pubs (A4), takeaways (A5) and cinemas etc (D2) 

So, to be clear, from 1 Sept 2020, any change of use between uses falling within Class E will not require planning permission. Lichfields have provided a quick reference guide as per the image overleaf..

There have also been significant additions to permitted development rights summarised as follows:

Additional storeys to dwelling houses.

Class AA to Part 1: Permitted development rights to add additional storeys with effect from 31St August. Prior approval from The Local Planning Authority required.

What is the new permitted development right?

From the 31st of August 2020, a new permitted development rights will allow you to construct up to 2 additional stories to dwelling houses consisting of at least two stories, and one additional story to one story dwelling houses. The new stories must be immediately above the topmost story. The right also covers an engineering operation reasonably necessary for construction compromising works within the curtilage to strengthen existing walls or foundations. There are provisions as to what constituents a story in terms of basement and roof accommodation.

What are the limitations and restrictions?

The new permitted development rights do not apply to:

  1. Buildings converted to residential under other permitted development rights
  2. Conservation areas, areas of outstanding natural beauty, the Broads, national parks, world Heritage sites and Sites of Special Scientific Interest
  3. Buildings constructed before the 1st of July 1948 or after the 28th of October 2018
  4. Where the existing dwelling house has been enlarged already by the addition of one or storeys whether under permitted development or otherwise

Additional restrictions include:

Following the works, the height of the highest part of the roof cannot exceed 18m or the highest part of the roof as existing by more than 3.5 m for one story dwellings or 7m otherwise;

Cannot exceed by more than 3.5 m the highest part of the roof of: 

  1.  For semi detached houses, the building with which it shares a party wall
  2. For terraces, every other building in the same row

The internal floor to ceiling height of additional stories:

  1. Cannot exceed the lower of 3m and the existing height of any stories in the principal part of the existing house;
  2. The new stories must only be constructed on the principal part of the house ie the main part, excluding extensions of lower height whether original or subsequent

There must be no visible support structures on or attached to the exterior on completion;

  1. No windows are allowed in walls or roof slopes on side elevations
  2. The roof pitch of the principal part must be the same
  3. The materials used in exterior works must be of similar appearance to the existing

Consideration also needs to be given to the standard provisions of the general permitted development order including where permitted development rights have been removed by previous planning permissions.

Is prior approval of the Local Planning Authority required?

You must apply for the prior approval of the Local Planning Authority for the following matters:

  1. Impact on the amenity of adjoining premises, including overlooking privacy and the loss of light.
  2. The external appearance of the additional storeys including the design and architectural features of the principal elevation and side elevations fronting a highway.
  3. Air-traffic and defence as it impacts on certain protected views.

Before commencing the works you must also provide to the Local Planning Authority a report on construction management, to include the hours of construction operations and how adverse impacts arising from the construction relating to noise, dust, vibration and traffic will be mitigated during the construction period

The application to the Local Planning Authority for prior approval must comply with requirements set out in the new permitted development right including a description of the works and elevations and other assessments relating to the above factors. Neighbour notifications and consultation of certain third parties are undertaken by the Local Planning Authority, giving the opportunity for representations to be made which the Local Planning Authority must take into account.

The development cannot begin until prior approval is received from the Local Planning Authority which may be conditional. There is no deemed approval provision. Prior approval can be refused if the LPA thinks that the proposal does not comply with the regulations or insufficient information has been provided for consideration.

Additional storeys to flats

Class A of Part 20: Permitted development right to add two additional storeys on purpose-built detached blocks of flats with effect from 1St August, subject to prior approval from the Local Planning Authority.

The new permitted development rights allow for the upward extension of purpose-built blocks of flats in England.

What is the new permitted development right?

From 1st August 2020, the new permitted development rights will allow for the construction up to 2 additional stories of new flats immediately above the existing topmost residential story on a purpose-built, detached block of flats. The new flats can be used as dwelling-houses under class C3 of the Uses Classes Order and for ancillary purposes only.

The permitted development right also allows for the following operational development works where reasonably necessary:

  1. Engineering operations within the existing curtilage to strengthen existing walls or foundations or to install or replace services, but cannot include visible support structures attached to the exterior.
  2. Works to replace existing plants or install new plants on the roof of the extended building to service the new flats, but only where there is existing plant on the building. The replaced or additional plant cannot exceed the height of the existing plant measured as specific in the Regulations.
  3. Works within the curtilage to construct appropriate and safe access and egress to the new and existing flats, including fire escapes, via external doors or suitcases.
  4. Works within the curtilage to construct storage, waste or other facilities to support the new flats. These cannot be placed on land forward of the wall of the principal elevation or forward of the wall at the side of the wall fronting the highway.

What are the limitations and restrictions?

The building must be a block of flats,consisting of self-contained premises which were purposely built as flats (so, for example not a conversion from a previous use) and remain as such with ancillary facilities for occupiers. This may prevent the new right to apply to premises including other non-ancillary uses. Detached building means that the building must not share a party wall with a neighbouring building.

 The new permitted development right  does not apply to:

  1. Flat blocks within a Conservation area, area of outstanding natural beauty, The Broads, national parks and world heritage sites, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, defined safety hazard areas, military explosive storage areas all within 3 km of an aerodrome perimeter
  2. Listed buildings and scheduled ancient monuments or land within the curtilage of such
  3. Flats converted to residential under other permitted development rights (for example, buildings that were previously used as offices of warehouses etc.
  •       Buildings of less than three stories above ground level
  •       Buildings constructed before 1st July 1948 or after 5th of March 2018

The floor to ceiling height of any additional storey that’s not more than 3 m in height or, if less the floor to ceiling height of any existing story is measured internally.  The overall height of the roof of the extended building cannot be greater than 7 m higher than the highest part of the existing roof (including existing plant). The extended building (excluding plant) cannot be greater than 30 m in height. The additional stories must be constructed on the principal part of the building i.e. the main part, excluding any existing lower front, side or rear extensions whether constructed as original or added on later. 

Consideration also needs to be given to the standard provisions of the general permitted development order, including where environmental impact assessment may be required and where existing permitted development rights have been removed by previous planning permissions.

Is prior approval of the Local Planning Authority required?

You must apply for the prior approval of the Local Planning Authority for consideration of the following matters:

  1. The impacts of the proposal on  transport/highways and air traffic/defence assets
  2. Contamination of flood risk
  3. The external appearance of the proposed development and the provision of adequate natural light in all habitable rooms of the new development
  4. The impact of the proposed development on the amenity of the existing and neighbouring residents including of overlooking, loss of privacy and the loss of light
  5. Impacts on certain protected views

Before commencing the works you must also provide to the Local Planning Authority a report on construction management, to include the hours of construction operation and how adverse impacts arising from the construction relating to noise, dust, vibration and traffic will be mitigated during the construction period

The application to the Local Planning Authority for prior approval must comply with requirements set out in the new permitted development right including  including a work specification and floor plans. Site notices, neighbour notifications and consultation of certain third parties are undertaken by the Local Planning Authority, giving the opportunity for representations to be made which the Local Planning Authority must take into account.

The development cannot begin until prior approval is received from the Local Planning Authority which may be conditional. There is no deemed approval provision. Prior approval can be refused if the LPA thinks that the proposal does not comply with the regulations or insufficient information has been provided for consideration.

Are there any time limits for completion of the development?

The development must be completed within three years from the date prior approval is granted and in accordance with the approval details.

Demolition and residential redevelopment

Class ZA of Part 20: Permitted development rights to demolish vacant offices, light industrial or residential and redevelop for residential with effect from 31st August. The prior approval of the Local Planning Authority is required.

A new right applies in England from the 31st of August 2020 to allow the demolition of certain buildings and the construction of new dwellings in their place.

What is the new permitted development right?

The new permitted development right allows for the  demolition of the following types of buildings which existed on 12th of March 2020 (the ‘old building’):

  1. Single purpose-built detached blocks of flats (so, buildings originally built as flats and remaining as such)
  2. Other single detached buildings, established for class B1(a) offices and or class B1(b)research and development and or class B1(c) industrial processes.

The definition of ‘detached’ is a building that does not share a party wall of a neighbouring building.

The right also provides for the replacement of the demolished building by a single new building consisting of either a detached block of flats or a dwelling house to be used for class C3 purposes. The new permitted development also confers the rights to undertake other associated operations including:

  1. Operation reasonably necessary for the demolition/construction, which may include installation of a basement or cellar in the new building.
  2. The disconnection and installation of services or plants and the removal and installation of means of access including fire escapes.
  3. Storage, waste and ancillary supporting facilities within the new building.
  4. The use of scaffolding and temporary structures to support the operations from one month before operations begin to one month after completion.

What are the limitations and restrictions?

The demolition component of the new permitted development rights do not apply to buildings:

  1. Unless they have been vacant for at least six months before prior approval is sought
  2. That are listed buildings and/or scheduled monuments, or land within the curtilage of such
  3. Located within conservation areas, areas of outstanding natural beauty, the Broads, national parks, world heritage sites, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, defined safety hazard areas, military explosive storage areas or within 3km of an aerodrome perimeter
  4. Occupied under agricultural tenancies
  5. Constructed after the 31st of December 1989 or where the footprint exceeds 1000 m²
  6. Where the highest part of the roof excluding plant, radio masts and antennae is greater than 18 m above ground level at any point
  7. That have been rendered unsafe or uninhabitable by action or inaction of an owner where it is practicable to secure safety or health by works of repair or temporary support

The following restrictions and limitations apply to the new building to be constructed:

  1. No more than 2 stories can be added to the number of stories in the old building and the internal floor to ceiling height of additional stories cannot exceed the height of any story in the old building, or if lower, 3m
  2. The footprint must be within the footprint of the old building
  3. No part of the exterior wall closest to the highway can become closer to the highway.
  4. The height excluding plant, radio masts and antennae cannot exceed 7m above the height of the old building (excluding plant) or, if lower, 18m above ground level
  5. The height of the plant on the roof shall not exceed the height of existing plant

Consideration also needs to be given to the standard provisions of the general permitted development order, including where environmental impact assessment may be required and where existing permitted development rights have been removed by previous planning permissions.

Is the prior approval of the Local Planning Authority required

You must apply for the prior approval of the Local Planning Authority for consideration of the following matters:

  1. Impacts on transport and highways, contamination, flood risk, heritage and archaeology
  2. Design, external appearance and provision of adequate natural light and all habitable rooms
  3. The impact on the amenity of the new building and neighbouring premises, including on overlooking, privacy and light, and the impact of noise from commercial premises on occupiers on the new dwellings
  4. The impact on business and new residence of the new or increased residential use in the area
  5. Impacts on certain protected views and on Air traffic/defence, unless the new building does not extend to be on the envelope with the old building, including plant
  6. The method of demolition and plans for landscaping

The application to the Local Planning Authority for prior approval must comply with requirements set out in the new permitted development right including  a description of the works, floorplans, elevations, a written statement on heritage and archaeology and other matters. Site notices, neighbour notifications and consultation of certain third parties are undertaken by the Local Planning Authority, giving the opportunity for representations to be made which the Local Planning Authority must take into account.

 The development cannot begin until prior approval is received from the Local Planning Authority which may be conditional. There is no deemed approval provision. Prior approval can be refused if the LPA thinks that the proposal does not comply with the regulations or insufficient information has been provided for consideration.

Before commencing the works you must also provide to the Local Planning Authority a report on construction management, to include the hours of construction operation and how adverse impacts arising from the construction relating to noise, dust, vibration and traffic will be mitigated during the construction period.

Are there any time limits for completion of the development?

The development must be completed within three years from the date prior approval is granted and in accordance with the approval details.

Construction of new flats on commercial and residential buildings

New Classes AA, AB, AC and AD of Part 20: provide permitted development rights to construct new self-contained flats on the topmost storey of certain buildings with effect from 31st August. Prior approval from the Local Planning Authority is  required.

What are the new permitted development rights?

Part 20 of schedule two of the General Permitted Development Order 2020 introduces four new rights. Classes AA, maybe, a C and a D, which take effect from the 31st of August 2020. The rights of our flats to be constructed on the top my story of certain buildings as follows:

  1. Where buildings are used for any or a combination of class A1, A2, A3 or B1(a) Uses or use as betting offices, payday loan shops or laundrettes or a combination of one or more of such uses with a residential use. Class AA applies only to detached buildings which are at least three storeys above ground andClass AB applies to terraced buildings.
  2. Where buildings are used as simple dwelling houses, class AC applies to terraced buildings and Class AD applies to detached buildings.

The new permitted development rights allow up to 2 new stories to be added, but classes AB, AC and AD only allow the addition of one further story to single storey buildings.

In each case, the new rights also provide for certain other associated buildings operations including works within the curtilage comprising:

  1. Engineering operations to strengthen walls and foundations (but no visible support structures)and to install services
  2. Works to construct safe access and egress including fire escapes
  3. Works to construct storage, waste and ancillary facilities (not including on land forward of a principal elevation wall or forward of a side elevation wall front a highway)

New Class AA and AB also allow plants to be replaced or additional plants to be installed on the roof to serve the new flats provided that there is existing plant and the new plant does not exceed the height of the existing plant.

 

What are the limitations and restrictions?

The new permitted development rights do not apply to:

  1. Listed buildings, scheduled monuments and land within the curtilage of such
  2. Conservation areas, areas of outstanding natural beauty, the Broads, national parks,World Heritage sites and Sites of Special Scientific Interest  and certain other areas.
  3. Buildings which were not used for an eligible use or for a class C3 residential use on the 5th March 2018.
  4. Buildings constructed before the 1st of July 1948 or after the 5th of March 2018.

In addition:

  1. The additional storeys must be constructed onto the principal part of the building
  2. The internal floor to ceiling height of additional storeys cannot exceed the existing height of any storeys in the principal part of the existing and must not exceed 3 m in height in any event
  3. For Classes AC and AD, the materials used in exterior works must be of a similar appearance to the existing the roof pitch must remain the same and the development must not include a window in any wall or roof slope in a side elevation
  4. The height of the highest part of the roof as extended must not (excluding plant):
  5. Exceed the existing by more than 7m (Class AA) or 3.5m for existing one storey buildings and 7m for other buildings (Class AB, AC and AD)
  6. Exceed by more than 3.5m the highest part of the roofs across the terrace (Class AB and AC)
  7. Extend above 30m (Class AA) or 18m (Class AB, AC and AD)
  8. Class AB, AC and AD will not apply where the existing building has been enlarged by the addition or one or more storeys already

Consideration also needs to be given to the standard provisions of the general permitted development order, and where existing permitted development rights have been removed by previous planning permissions.

Is the prior approval of the Local Planning Authority required?

You must apply for the prior approval of the Local Planning Authority for consideration of the following matters:

  1. The impact on the amenity of the existing building and adjoining premises including overlooking, privacy and the loss of light
  2. The external appearance of the proposed development, including the design and architectural features of the principal elevation and side elevations fronting a highway and the impact of some of the other works.
  3. Impact on air traffic and defence assets and certain protected views
  4. Flood and contamination risks
  5. Transport and highways impacts
  6. The provision of adequate natural light in habitable rooms in the new flats
  7. The impact of noise from commercial premises on occupiers of the new flats
  8. The impact of the proposed residential use on trade and business in the area

Before commencing the works you must also provide to the Local Planning Authority a report on construction management, to include the hours of construction operation and how adverse impacts arising from the construction relating to noise, dust, vibration and traffic will be mitigated during the construction period.

The application to the Local Planning Authority for prior approval must comply with requirements set out in the new permitted development right including a description of the works and elevations and other assessments relating to the matters for consideration by the Local Planning Authority.

Neighbour notifications and consultation of certain third parties are undertaken by the Local Planning Authority, giving the opportunity for representations to be made which the Local Planning Authority must take into account. 

The development cannot begin until prior approval is received from the Local Planning Authority which may be conditional. There is no deemed approval provision. Prior approval can be refused if the LPA thinks that the proposal does not comply with the regulations or insufficient information has been provided for consideration.

Are there any time limits for completion of the development?

The development must be completed within three years from the date prior approval is granted and in accordance with the approval details.

Please remember this document is for guidance purposes only, and full requirements and confirmation of compliance with the permitted development rights must be established fully on a case-by-case basis.

 

For further information and assistance contact:

Roy Hammond

Dip TP | MRTPI

Associate Director 

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