Permitted development rights to allow change of use of buildings

Regulations to allow a range of new permitted development rights for the change of use of different types of buildings to other uses came into force on 30 May.

In particular the CLA is pleased to see the regulations that allow change of use of existing agricultural buildings to a range of commercial uses subject to a number of conditions and limitations, and notification requirements.

The CLA has been lobbying for a number of years on the need for permitted development rights so farmers and landowners are able to change the use of agricultural buildings to other uses without having to seek full planning permission. This would assist with farm diversification opportunities. It is pleasing that the Government finally realised the benefits that this could provide to the rural economy. Permitted development rights are surrounded by conditions and limitations. A CLA guidance note is available.

Other permitted development rights for change that also came into force on 30 May are:

  • The change of use of buildings used as offices (B1(a)  to residential (C3l use – 17 areas of England are exempted from these provisions and the provisions are time limited to a period of three years ending on 30 May 2016 – a CLA Guidance note will be published shortly;
  • Increased permitted development  thresholds for business change of use – thresholds will change from 235sqm to  500sqm for change of use from B1 or B2 to B8, and, from B2 or B8 to B1

There is also a range of changes of use to assist high streets:

  • increased permitted development thresholds for industrial and warehouse development but only for a period of three years (deadline is 30 May 2016);
  • Premises in B1, C1, C2, C2A, D1 and D2 use classes will be able to change use permanently to a state-funded school subject to conditions and limitations.

 Any feedback from CLA members would be welcomed on the ease with which they are able to use these new permitted development rights.

Permitted development rights to allow change of use of a building from agricultural use to residential use will be the subject of a consultation which is due to be published before the Parliamentary summer recess. The CLA will be responding to this consultation.