New Permitted Development Rights

Permitted development proposals out for consultation

A consultation on proposals to increase permitted development (PD) rights for extensions to houses and business premises in non-protected areas in England has been launched by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

These proposed amendments to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 are also intended to streamline the regime covering the installation of broadband infrastructure.

DCLG is proposing action in five areas:

  • increasing the PD limits for the depth of single-storey domestic extensions from 4m to 8m (for detached houses) and from 3m to 6m (for all other houses), in non-protected areas, for a period of three years. No changes are proposed for extensions of more than one storey
  • increasing the PD size limits for extensions to shop and professional/financial services establishments to 100 sq m, and allowing the building of these extensions up to the boundary of the property (except where the boundary is with a residential property), in non-protected areas, for a period of three years
  • increasing the PD size limits for extensions to offices to 100 sq m, in non-protected areas, for a period of three years
  • increasing the size limits for new industrial buildings within the curtilage of existing industrial premises to 200 sq m, in non-protected areas, for a period of three years
  • removing some prior approval requirements for the installation of broadband infrastructure for a period of five years.

The consultation paper also made it clear the Government wants to explore whether there is scope to make it easier to carry out garage conversions.

DCLG say the reforms would, for a time limited period, slash planning red tape, sweep away unnecessary rules and bureaucracy and help tens of thousands of homeowners and companies.

The department stressed that the new rights would not apply in protected areas such as National Parks, conservation areas, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Interest and would not remove the requirement for separate listed building consent.

It added that the requirements of other regimes – such as building regulations, the Party Wall Act or environmental legislation – would also not be removed.

Planning Minister Nick Boles said: “These proposed reforms will make it easier for thousands of hard working families to undertake home improvements to cater for a growing family or to build a conservatory.

“Homeowners and businesses must be allowed to meet their aspirations for improving their homes and premises but this won’t be at the expense of neighbours, communities and protected areas.”

Other changes to permitted development are also being taken forward separately: making it easier for commercial properties to be converted to residential use; and encouraging the reuse of existing buildings through making changes of use easier.