Expert Insights

Expert Insights

Permitted Development: Building Up

The Government has introduced a suite of new permitted development rights which will apply in England. The changes to Schedule 2 of the General Permitted Development Order 2015 are intended to take effect over the next few weeks and months and are wide ranging.

  • A new permitted development right to add storeys to your home will take effect on 31 August 2020, introducing a new Class AA to Part 1. See our summary here for further information.
  • A right to construct dwellings on top of purpose built blocks of flats will apply from 1 August 2020. Click here for more information on the new Class A of Part 20.
  • From 31 August 2020, you will be able to demolish certain buildings and construct new dwellings in their place under Class ZA of Part 20. Read about the numerous restrictions that apply here.
  • Finally, four new permitted development rights will allow from 31 August 2020 flats to be constructed on the topmost storey of commercial / mixed use or residential terraces and detached buildings under Classes AA, AB, AC and AD of Part 20. Read more here.

The legislation for the above has been laid before Parliament and will become law and take effect as specified above unless the House of Commons or House of Lords passes a motion to prevent it, but such intervention is rare.

The “rights” are heavily qualified, each being subject to their own set of complex restrictions, limitations and conditions. You need to consider carefully whether the scope of works that you wish to carry out are permitted. In time, there will be litigation over the exact wording of some of the rights and what they allow.

Further, you still require “prior approval” from the local planning authority before you commence works.  The list of matters that the authority may consider is lengthy, different for each Class and introduces considerable scope for subjective judgement. You have 3 years from the date of prior approval to complete the works.

There will be a fee for Part 20 applications. Draft Regulations suggest £334 per new dwelling for proposals of up to 50 dwellings and otherwise a fixed fee of £16,525 plus £100 per dwelling up to a maximum of £300,000, although this is yet to be confirmed. A "second application" exemption may apply in certain circumstances.

Of course, the permitted development rights simply provide a (potential) route through planning control.  Aside from the obvious engineering and design considerations, there are numerous other factors to be considered. These include building regulations, listed building control for home extensions, rights to light, ownership of the airspace, whether freeholders have retained sufficient rights to build, implications for service charge etc. Seek advice!

For more information, please contact Claire Fallows or your usual Charles Russell Speechlys contact.

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