Important Update - Supporting Housing Delivery and Public Service Infrastructure

Important Update - Supporting Housing Delivery and Public Service Infrastructure
On the 31 March 2021, Robert Jenrick MP announced that following a national consultation exercise, the Government plan to go ahead and introduce new legislation which will allow commercial premises to become housing in an attempt to support Britain's High Streets. These new measures will come into force on the 1 August 2021 and will apply in all areas except National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The new rules, announced by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, have been introduced with the aim of supporting the creation of much-needed homes while also giving high streets a new lease of life – removing eyesores, transforming unused buildings and making the most of brownfield land.

They have also announced their intention to introduce a new fast track process for extending public service buildings. These new rules will allow for bigger extensions to existing public buildings including schools, colleges, universities and hospitals.

Finally, the Government intend to consult on further changes to the Permitted Development Rights Order, which will also come into force later this year. These changes should hopefully consolidate some of the many incremental changes which have been made in the past few years and reflect recent changes to the Use Classes Order.

All of these new measures follow on from a consultation exercise which was carried out earlier this year, this is a summary of the key points:

Part 1: Supporting housing delivery through a new national permitted development right for the change of use from the Commercial, Business and Service use class to residential
A new national permitted development right to create new homes through the change of use from Commercial Business and Service uses will be introduced.

The right will:
  • have effect from 1 August 2021
  • be subject to a size limit of 1,500 sq m of floorspace changing use
  • apply to buildings that have been in Commercial, Business and Service uses for two years, including time in former uses now within that class
  • apply to buildings that have been vacant for at least three continuous months
  • apply in conservation areas, but not in other article 2 (3) land such as National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • be subject to prior approval by the local planning authority on specific planning matters
  • attract a fee of £100 per dwellinghouse
Part 2: Supporting public service infrastructure through the planning system
The permitted development right for public service infrastructure will be amended to:
  • allow for development of up to 25% of the existing buildings, or 250 square metres whichever is greater
  • extend the height limit for new buildings from 5 metres to 6 metres, and for the first time allow for development at existing prisons under this right
  • make university extensions subject to prior approval by the local planning authority on specific planning matters
In addition, a faster application process for new major public service infrastructure will be introduced (aiming to implement from 1 August 2021) by:
  • reducing the statutory determination period for these developments from 13 weeks to 10 weeks
  • shortening the statutory consultation period for these developments to 18 calendar days (from the current 21 calendar days)
  • requiring that local planning authorities notify the Secretary of State when they anticipate making a decision
  • making clear that the policy in paragraph 94 of the National Planning Policy Framework about the importance of pre-application engagement is extended to these types of development
Part 3: Consolidation and simplification of existing permitted development rights
The Government announced their intention to consult further on the detail of proposed consequential changes to individual permitted development rights.

For further information or to read the Government's response in full, please click here.
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Friday, 12 July 2024

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