New Permitted Development Rights came into effect on the 1st of October. This Permitted Development right is aimed at further increasing the supply of housing to meet the current demands in the UK.

The amendment to the General Permitted Development Order will allow the change of use of Class b1(c) light industrial buildings and land within their curtilage, to be converted to residential use, providing certain conditions are met. These include:

  • An application for prior approval must be made between the 1st of October 2017 and the 30th of September 2020;
  • The building must have been in lawful, light industrial use on 19th of March 2014 (or if vacant, been been used for light industrial purposes);
  • The building floorspace is 500sqm or less; and
  • The site cannot contain listed buildings or scheduled monuments and must not form part of an SSSI or certain other sensitive areas.

Local planning authorities can only take into account certain matters including transport, contamination and flooding considerations, when determining the prior approval application. They can also take account of the importance of the local area for providing B1/B2/B8 services, and whether the introduction of a residential use into that area would have an adverse impact on the sustainability of providing those services.

Change of Use of Industrial Buildings

‘Homebuilding and Renovating’ report that the conversion of industrial buildings into residential spaces initially began in the 70’s as Councils realised the potential of reviving old building stock. By the 90’s warehouse developments were transforming and regenerating urban areas throughout the UK.

Furthermore, ‘Change of Use’ Planning Proposals have increased in popularity over the years. Several cases of ‘Change of Use’ of Industrial buildings have been seen in the past few years, with great success. Examples including the Battersea Power Station, recently transformed into a classy and highly sought-after residential property, are a prime exemplar of this. Former industrial buildings are also increasingly seen as chic and savvy places to live whilst also aiding the dereliction of industrial buildings in the UK.

Conjunctively, the new Permitted Development Rights are aimed at tackling the housing crisis that is currently plaguing the UK. According to Government statistics, current projections show an average of 210,000 new households will form in England in each year between 2014 and 2019. However, this is still short of the estimated 240-250,000 new homes needed to meet the current housing demand. The lack of housing is further driving rent prices up, subsequently making it harder for those living in London to obtain housing.

These new Permitted Development Rights also come at a time where cities like London are increasingly running short on space to build and develop. The Change of Use from light industrial buildings to residential is a huge leap forward for planning policy and will hopefully allow for the provision of more housing in the capital without having to compromise on space or availability of housing.

Fuller Long are well versed with the submission of applications for prior approval for the conversion of commercial buildings to residential use and would be pleased to assist in any future projects. Please call us on 0808 164 1288 for a no obligation conversation with one of our experienced team of consultants.