30th May 2013 saw the Government introduce a raft of new regulations extending permitted development rights for home owners, office conversions, temporary uses for redundant agricultural buildings, and change of use of commercial buildings falling within specific use classes.

The changes to the General Permitted Development Order, which include new rules to allow office buildings to be converted to residential use without planning permission and increased limits for householder extensions, are now in force.

The measures also include new rules to enable the conversion of existing buildings such as offices, hotels, care homes, cinemas and concert halls to state-funded schools without the need for planning consent (see full list of key changes below).

All of these measures are intended to help kick-start the economy. And our planning experts can help you grow your business and improve your home.

To find out if you could benefit from these changes call Claire on 01282 872570, or email.

Permitted development overhaul: the key changes

  • Premises in B1(a) office use will be able to change to C3 residential use, subject to prior approval covering flooding, highways and transport issues and contamination.
  • Premises in the B1, C1, C2, C2A, D1 and D2 use classes will be able to change use permanently to a state-funded school, subject to prior approval covering highways and transport impacts and noise.
  • There will be increased limits for home and business extensions. For a period of three years, the respective size limits and percentage increases are to be doubled.
  • Agricultural buildings under 500 square metres will be able to change to A1, A2, A3, B1, B8, C1 and D2 use. For buildings between 150 square metres and 500 square metres, prior approval covering flooding, highways and transport impacts, and noise will be required.
  • Buildings with A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, B1, D1 and D2 uses will be permitted to change use for a period of up two years to A1, A2, A3 and B1 uses to help new and start-up businesses.
  • There will be increased permitted development thresholds for business change of use. Thresholds will change from 235 square metres to 500 square metres for change of use from B1 or B2 to B8 and from B2 or B8 to B1.



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