Guidance

When is permission required?

Sets out when planning permission is required and different types of planning permission which may be granted.

What is development?

Planning permission is only needed if the work being carried out meets the statutory definition of ‘development’ which is set out in section 55 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

‘Development’ includes:

  • building operations (eg structural alterations, construction, rebuilding, most demolition);
  • material changes of use of land and buildings;
  • engineering operations (eg groundworks);
  • mining operations;
  • other operations normally undertaken by a person carrying on a business as a builder.
  • subdivision of a building (including any part it) used as a dwellinghouse for use as 2 or more separate dwelling houses

The categories of work that do not amount to ‘development’ are set out in section 55(2) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. These include, but are not limited to the following:

  • interior alterations (except mezzanine floors which increase the floorspace of retail premises by more than 200 square metres)
  • building operations which do not materially affect the external appearance of a building. The term ‘materially affect’ has no statutory definition, but is linked to the significance of the change which is made to a building’s external appearance.
  • a change in the primary use of land or buildings, where the before and after use falls within the same use class.

Paragraph: 001 Reference ID: 13-001-20140306

Revision date: 06 03 2014

Does all development require planning permission?

Section 57 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 directs that all operations or work falling within the statutory definition of ‘development’ require planning permission. However, there are different types of planning permission, such as:

Paragraph: 002 Reference ID: 13-002-20140306

Revision date: 06 03 2014

Does all development require a planning application to be made for permission to carry out the development?

Development does not in all instances require a planning application to be made for permission to carry out the development. In some cases development will be permitted under national permitted development rights. To receive a formal confirmation of this, an application for a certificate of lawful development can be submitted to a local planning authority.

There may also be a locally granted planning permission in place that covers the type of development you wish to undertake, in the form of a Local Development Order, a Neighbourhood Development Order or a Community Right to Build Order.

In all other cases it will be necessary to make a planning application to a local planning authority.

Paragraph: 003 Reference ID: 13-003-20140306

Revision date: 06 03 2014

If it is not necessary to make a planning application, are there any other steps required before the development goes ahead?

Even if a planning application is not needed, other consents may be required under other regimes. The following list is not exhaustive but illustrates some of the other permissions or consents that may need to be obtained before carrying out development:

It is the developer’s responsibility to ensure that any necessary permissions, consents and permits (including permits and licences outside of planning such as those granted under the Licensing Act 2003 and Gambling Act 2005) are in place when required.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

What if there are restrictions through deeds or covenants that prevent development?

Land ownership, including any restrictions that may be associated with land, is not a planning matter. An appropriate legal professional will be able to provide further advice on this if necessary.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

What happens if development is carried out without the necessary planning permission?

If development is carried out without the necessary planning permission, this may lead to enforcement action.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Where can applicants find out more?

A local planning authority delivers the planning service for a local area and should always be the first point of contact for any planning enquiries. A local planning authority will have professional planning officers working for them who can offer planning advice, particularly on the interpretation of planning law and planning policy. Some local planning authorities charge for pre-application advice. Further advice will also be available from a professional planning consultant.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

How can disagreements with a local planning authority’s actions, or its interpretation of planning rules, be resolved?

If an applicant disagrees with a planning decision because they believe that a proposal was in conformity with national and local planning policy, then the decision can be appealed to the Planning Inspectorate.

If a person is unhappy with the approach that a local planning authority has taken to a proposed or existing development then they can consider going through the local government complaints procedure. If this does not resolve the issue, they could make a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman is only able to consider the procedure followed and conduct of a local planning authority. The Ombudsman does not have the power to rescind a grant of planning permission. Further advice will also be available from an appropriate legal professional or professional planning consultant.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

What is the Use Classes Order?

The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987, as amended, groups common uses of land and buildings into classes. The uses within each class are, for planning purposes, considered to be broadly similar to one another. The different use classes are:

  • Part A
    • Class A1 – Shops
    • Class A2 – Financial and professional services
    • Class A3 – Restaurants and cafes
    • Class A4 – Drinking establishments
    • Class A5 – Hot food takeaways
  • Part B
    • Class B1 – Business
      • B1(a) offices excluding those in A2 use
      • B1(b) Research and development of products or processes
      • B1(c) Light industry
    • Class B2 – General Industrial
    • Class B8 – Storage and distribution
  • Part C
    • Class C1 – Hotels
    • Class C2 – Residential institutions
    • Class C2A – Secure residential institutions
    • Class C3 – Dwellinghouses
    • Class C4 – Small Houses in multiple occupation
  • Part D
    • Class D1 – Non-residential institutions
    • Class D2 – Assembly and leisure

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

What is a sui generis use?

Not all uses of land or buildings fit within the use classes order. When no use classes order category fits, the use of the land or buildings is described as sui generis, which means ‘of its own kind’. Examples of sui generis uses include: scrap yards, petrol stations, taxi businesses, casinos (these examples are not exhaustive).

Where land is or buildings are being used for different uses which fall into more than one class, then overall use of the land or buildings is regarded as a mixed use, which will normally be sui generis. The exception to this is where there is a primary overall use of the site, to which the other uses are ancillary. For example, in a factory with an office and a staff canteen, the office and staff canteen would normally be regarded as ancillary to the factory.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

When does a change of use require planning permission?

A change of use of land or buildings requires planning permission if it constitutes a material change of use. There is no statutory definition of ‘material change of use’; however, it is linked to the significance of a change and the resulting impact on the use of land and buildings. Whether a material change of use has taken place is a matter of fact and degree and this will be determined on the individual merits of a case.

If planning permission is required for change of use, there may be permitted development rights which allow change of use without having to make a planning application.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Is movement between uses within the same use class development?

Movement from one primary use to another within the same use class is not development, and does not require planning permission.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Is planning permission required to sub-divide a building?

Planning permission may not be required to sub-divide a building where:

  • sub-division does not involve physical works that amount to development;
  • the use of any newly formed units after a building has been sub-divided falls within the same use class as the building’s existing primary use before it was sub-divided, or there is a permitted development right allowing the new use; and/or
  • the sub-division does not involve converting a single dwelling house to contain more than one residential unit.

Paragraph: 013 Reference ID: 13-013-20140306

Revision date: 06 03 2014

Do I need planning permission to home work or run a business from home?

Planning permission will not normally be required to home work or run a business from home, provided that a dwelling house remains a private residence first and business second (or in planning terms, provided that a business does not result in a material change of use of a property so that it is no longer a single dwelling house). A local planning authority is responsible for deciding whether planning permission is required and will determine this on the basis of individual facts. Issues which they may consider include whether home working or a business leads to notable increases in traffic, disturbance to neighbours, abnormal noise or smells or the need for any major structural changes or major renovations.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Is planning permission required to rent out a parking space?

The government’s view is that it should be possible to rent parking spaces without planning permission, provided there are no substantive planning concerns such as public nuisance to neighbours.

There is a public interest from such renting, by providing more cheap and flexible parking spaces for people to park their car and taking pressure away from on-street parking.

The decision on whether renting out a parking space requires planning permission will depend on 2 principal factors:

  1. The first is whether renting out a parking space results in a material change in the use of the space. Determining whether there has been a material change of use will depend on whether a space is used in a significantly different way to how a parking space would normally be used (irrespective of the identity of the driver). For example, if by renting out spaces, it causes a notable public or neighbour nuisance. A local planning authority will make this decision based on relevant facts and on a case by case basis.
  2. The second is whether there are any other relevant planning considerations, such as planning conditions, which impose restrictions that prevent parking spaces being rented out.

If renting out parking spaces does not amount to a material change of use and if there are no other planning considerations that prevent parking spaces from being rented out then it would not require planning permission.

Paragraph: 015 Reference ID: 13-015-20150319

Revision date: 19 03 2015 See previous version

Is planning permission required to short-term let in Greater London?

Section 25 of the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1973, as amended by section 44 of the Deregulation Act 2015, allows properties in London, which are liable for council tax, to be let out on a short-term basis for a maximum of 90 nights per calendar year without this being considered a material change of use for which planning permission is required (see section 25A of the 1973 Act). If these criteria are not met planning permission is required.

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Revision date: 19 05 2016

Is planning permission required to short-term let in elsewhere England?

Planning permission is not required elsewhere in England to short-term let a dwelling house, so long as there is not a material change of use of the property. Where it is a change of use and planning permission has not been obtained, a local planning authority can consider whether to take enforcement action. In addition, and irrespective of its planning status, where the short-term letting is causing disruption that could be a “statutory nuisance” under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, a local authority is required to take reasonably practicable steps to investigate the complaint and where it is satisfied that such a nuisance exists, it must issue an abatement notice against “the person responsible”.

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Revision date: 22 02 2018

What happens if a property exceeds the conditions for short-term letting in London?

Local planning authorities have discretion as to whether to take planning enforcement action on properties which are short-term let for more than 90 nights in a calendar year without planning permission, or where the person short-term letting is not liable for council tax. In addition, local authorities are required to investigate complaints about issues that could be a “statutory nuisance” under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, and where it is satisfied that such a nuisance exists, it must issue an abatement notice against “the person responsible”.

Under section 25B a local authority can direct that the right to short-term let without planning permission for up to 90 nights in a year is not to apply to particular residential properties or to residential premises situated in a specified area. However, the Secretary of State’s consent is required before a local planning authority can issue such a direction.

The Secretary of State will consider each application for consent from a local authority on its merits, and all arguments are taken into account before a decision is made but directions may only be given if it is necessary to protect the amenity of the locality. A direction is likely to be necessary to protect the amenity of the locality where:

  • there has been successful action against a statutory nuisance related to short-term letting; or,
  • there has been successful enforcement action against a breach of section 25 or 25A of the 1973 Act.

In this context “successful action” means that the notice has come into force and the person responsible has not complied within the relevant time period, and that there is no on-going appeal.

If the Secretary of State grants consent, the local authority may give a direction suspending the right to short-term let from that property or area. The position should be reviewed, such that the right is only removed for a reasonable and proportionate period of time, and the direction should be revoked when it is no longer necessary. A removal of rights can be secured against the relevant property by way of a local land charge.

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Revision date: 19 05 2016

Is planning permission required for farm shops?

Farm shops are often developed as part of farm diversification which can enhance the sustainability of the farm business and benefit the local community. If you are considering developing a farm shop you are likely to need planning permission. There are two options for securing the planning permission, either through a permitted development right or submitting a planning application.

It can be possible to develop farm shops under permitted development rights, such as Class R of Part 3 of Schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, which allows change of use of agricultural buildings to a flexible commercial use, when certain conditions are met.

If using the right in Class R of Part 3 of Schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 and the development of a farm shop would not exceed 150 square metres cumulative floor space, where the conditions set out in the regulations apply, information will need to be sent to the local planning authority. This comprises the date the site will begin to be used for any of the flexible uses; the nature of the use or uses; and a plan indicating the site and which buildings have changed use.

Where the development of a farm shop would be greater than 150 square metres cumulative floor space but does not exceed 500 square metres the permitted development rights requires an application for prior approval to be made to the local planning authority. This is so that consideration can be given to whether there are potential impacts which the proposed farm shop development may have and how, if necessary, these can best be mitigated. These are impacts from changes in traffic, noise, contamination and flood risk.

Where a planning application is submitted applicants should consider both national policy set out in the National Planning Policy Framework and local plan policies when developing the proposal.

When considering applications for a permitted development prior approval or planning permission, the local planning authority may propose granting permission with conditions in respect of the farm shop development. This is to ensure that the development is acceptable in planning terms. In imposing any conditions, local planning authorities should be mindful of the viability of the business and ensure that the conditions are proportionate and reasonably related to issues directly connected to the proposed farm shop. Planning conditions imposed in relation to a prior approval must only be related to the subject matter of the prior approval.

Paragraph: 112 Reference ID: 13-112-20170728

Revision date: 28 07 2017

Is planning permission required for polytunnels?

The erection of polytunnels to support sustainable food delivery is becoming a more important part of the approach to farming. Whether they are development will depend on the individual circumstances such as the extent, size, scale, permanence, movability and the degree of attachment to the land of the polytunnels.

Some development of polytunnels is allowed under existing permitted development rights, such as Class A of Part 6 of Schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015. However the local planning authority is responsible for deciding whether any type of planning permission is required for a particular development.

Where the local planning authority has to consider planning applications or prior approval applications for polytunnels, it is important that appropriate weight is given to the agricultural and economic need for the development. Circumstances where polytunnels can play an important role include to provide protection for plants or young livestock, to secure improved quality produce and to extend the growing season to provide greater opportunity for home grown produce.

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Revision date: 28 07 2017

Is planning permission required for on-farm reservoirs?

Full planning permission is not usually required for smaller, on-farm reservoirs, where the waste material excavated to develop a reservoir remains on the farm. These may be developed under existing agricultural permitted development rights, such as Class A of Part 6 of Schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, which set out the thresholds for excavation and mineral working where reasonably necessary for agricultural purposes. However, prior approval will be required from the local planning authority.

In considering either a prior approval application or a full planning application for the development of on-farm reservoirs, planning authorities should have regard to the increasing need for sustainability, importantly including the careful management of water, the benefits water storage adds in the sustainability of the farming activity and the contribution that it can also make to flood alleviation.

Mineral planning authorities should consider any applications for mineral extraction, which are submitted in order to dispose waste material excavated to develop reservoirs, in the wider context of the reasons for the development, such as to improve a farm’s sustainability and to protect water sources. Therefore mineral planning authorities should not refuse applications for mineral extraction, which have been submitted as a by-product of the need to develop an on-farm reservoir, solely on the basis that this would exceed their local minerals’ supply. In submitting any application there should be a clear explanation of why the extracted material cannot remain on the farm that can be considered by the mineral planning authority.

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Revision date: 15 06 2018 See previous version

Is planning permission required for a farm track?

Private ways or ‘farm tracks’ are often developed to support the operation of an agricultural unit. If you are considering providing, rearranging or replacing a farm track you will need planning permission in most cases. There are 2 possible routes for securing the planning permission, either through a permitted development right (where applicable) or by submitting a planning application.

Farm tracks may be developed, rearranged or replaced on both larger and smaller agricultural units under existing agricultural permitted development rights where they are reasonably necessary for agricultural purposes. The permitted development rights, set out in Class A and Class B of Part 6 of Schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, as amended, include the conditions for developing farm tracks under these rights. There is no size or ground area limit on the extent of the farm track that can be developed.

Where farm tracks are developed under permitted development rights on larger agricultural units (i.e. of 5 hectares or more) prior approval will be required from the local planning authority. On smaller agricultural units (i.e. of less than 5 hectares but more than 0.4 hectares) located in certain protected areas known as article 2(4) land (i.e. land within a National Park, the Broads and certain land outside the boundaries of a National Park) prior approval will also be required. In considering either a prior approval application or a full planning application for the development of farm tracks, planning authorities should have regard to the need for such development to support agriculture on the unit.

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Revision date: 22 02 2018

Is planning permission required for flood protection or alleviation works on a farm?

An application for planning permission is required for flood protection or alleviation works on smaller agricultural units (i.e. of less than 5 hectares) where these constitute development, such as excavations or engineering works. On larger agricultural units (i.e. of 5 hectares or more) those flood protection or alleviation works which are reasonably necessary for agricultural purposes, and where the waste material excavated to carry out the works remains on the farm, may be developed under existing agricultural permitted development rights. Class A of Part 6 of Schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, as amended, sets out the applicable thresholds for excavation and deposit of waste material excavated to carry out the works.

Where flood protection or alleviation works are carried out under permitted development rights a prior approval will be required from the local planning authority. In considering either a prior approval application, or a full planning application for the development of flood protection or alleviation works, planning authorities should have regard to the increasing need for such measures to provide resilience to the impacts of climate change and mitigate flood risk to support the sustainability of the agricultural activity.

Mineral planning authorities should consider any applications for mineral extraction, which are submitted in order to dispose of waste material excavated to carry out flood protection or alleviation works, in the wider context of the reasons for the development, such as to protect the farm in the event of severe weather events. Therefore mineral planning authorities should not refuse applications for mineral extraction, which have been submitted as a by-product of the need to carry out development for flood protection or alleviation works, solely on the basis that this would exceed their local minerals’ supply. Applicants should include a clear explanation on their application of why the extracted material cannot remain on the farm that can be considered by the mineral planning authority.

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Revision date: 15 06 2018 See previous version

What are permitted development rights?

Permitted development rights are a national grant of planning permission which allow certain building works and changes of use to be carried out without having to make a planning application. Permitted development rights are subject to conditions and limitations to control impact and to protect local amenity.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

What types of permitted development rights exist?

Permitted development rights are set out in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, as amended. Permitted development rights for householders: technical guidance has been issued by the government.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Do all areas in England have the same permitted development rights?

There is a range of exclusions which apply to permitted development rights in England. For instance, there are protected areas known as article 2(3) land, these cover:

  • conservation areas
  • Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • National Parks
  • the Broads
  • World Heritage Sites

There are other land areas known as article 2(4) land. Article 2(4) land covers land within a National Park, the Broads or certain land outside the boundaries of a National Park.

There is also article 2(5) land which is land excluded from permitted development rights allowing change of use of a property from Class B1(a) office use to Class C3 residential until 30 May 2019. Each relevant Part in Schedule 2 to the General Permitted Development Order will specify what restrictions and exclusions apply to development in these areas.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Are there limitations to permitted development rights?

Permitted development rights are subject to national conditions and limitations (for example limits on height, size or location etc). Some permitted development rights are also in place for a limited period of time; these are set out in the relevant Parts in Schedule 2 to the General Permitted Development Order.

Special rules apply to permitted development rights where they relate to development specified in the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2011. If the proposed development would fall into Schedule 1 or 2 of the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, it would only be permitted where a local planning authority has issued a screening opinion determining that the development is not environmental impact assessment development, or where the Secretary of State has directed that it is not environmental impact assessment development, or that the development is exempt from the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations. There are some specific exceptions to this general rule. Article 3(10) to (12) of the General Permitted Development Order provides more detail on this.

Special rules also apply to permitted development rights where development will have a significant effect on a European site or a European Offshore Marine Site. These are sites of the sort described in regulation 8 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010, which have been designated under processes set out in those Regulations. Under article 3(1) of the General Permitted Development Order and regulations 73 to 76 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010, a development must not be begun or continued before the developer has received written notice of the approval of the local planning authority.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Can permitted development rights be removed?

Permitted development rights can be removed by the local planning authority, either by means of a condition on a planning permission, or by means of an article 4 direction. The restrictions imposed will vary on a case by case basis and the specific wording of such conditions or directions.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Can local planning authorities tailor permitted development rights to their own circumstances?

Permitted development rights can be expanded via a Local Development Order or Neighbourhood Development Order, or, they can be withdrawn via an article 4 direction.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Is it necessary to apply for planning permission where there are permitted development rights?

Where a relevant permitted development right is in place, there is no need to apply to the local planning authority for permission to carry out the work. In a small number of cases, however, it may be necessary to obtain prior approval from a local planning authority before carrying out permitted development. Permitted development rights do not override the requirement to comply with other permission, regulation or consent regimes.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Is it necessary to contact the local planning authority before carrying out work under permitted development rights?

For the purposes of planning, contact with the local planning authority is generally only necessary before carrying out permitted development where:

  • prior approval from the local planning authority is required in advance of development
  • the neighbour consultation scheme applies
  • the local planning authority has a Community Infrastructure Levy in place which requires developers to contact the local planning authority before carrying out permitted development. Failure to do this may result in the local planning authority imposing a surcharge on a developer.
  • the permitted development rights require the developer to notify the local planning authority of a change of use

The relevant Parts in Schedule 2 to the General Permitted Development Order set out the procedures which must be followed when advance notification is required.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

What if it’s not clear whether development is covered by permitted development rights?

If it is not clear whether works are covered by permitted development rights, it is possible to apply for a lawful development certificate for a legally binding decision from the local planning authority.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Is development carried out under the General Permitted Development Order liable to a Community Infrastructure Levy charge?

Development carried out using permitted development rights can be liable to pay a Community Infrastructure Levy charge. This depends on when development commences and whether there is a community levy charge in place. A developer would not be required to pay a charge where permitted development was commenced before 6 April 2013 or otherwise before a charging schedule was in effect. Where development is commenced after 6 April 2013 and a charging schedule is in place, they would be liable to pay a charge.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

What is prior approval?

Prior approval means that a developer has to seek approval from the local planning authority that specified elements of the development are acceptable before work can proceed. The matters for prior approval vary depending on the type of development and these are set out in full in the relevant Parts in Schedule 2 to the General Permitted Development Order. A local planning authority cannot consider any other matters when determining a prior approval application.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

What types of development require prior approval?

Prior approval is required for some change of use permitted development rights. Certain other types of permitted development including the erection of new agricultural buildings, demolition and the installation of telecommunications equipment also require prior approval. The matters which must be considered by the local planning authority in each type of development are set out in the relevant Parts of Schedule 2 to the General Permitted Development Order.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Is a prior approval application like a planning application?

The statutory requirements relating to prior approval are much less prescriptive than those relating to planning applications. This is deliberate, as prior approval is a light-touch process which applies where the principle of the development has already been established. Where no specific procedure is provided in the General Permitted Development Order, local planning authorities have discretion on what processes they put in place. It is important that a local planning authority does not impose unnecessarily onerous requirements on developers, and does not seek to replicate the planning application system.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

What kind of information will the developer have to supply in connection with a prior approval application?

This will vary on the particular circumstances of the case, and developers may wish to discuss this with the local planning authority before submitting their application. Local planning authorities may wish to consider issuing guidance, taking into account local circumstances and advice provided by the relevant statutory consultees. For example, this could set out whether a flood risk assessment is likely to be required.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

What happens if a prior approval application is not determined by a local planning authority?

For some permitted development rights, including prior approval for certain changes of use, if the local planning authority does not notify the developer of their decision within the specified time period, the development can proceed. The relevant Parts in Schedule 2 to the General Permitted Development Order set out where this applies. Where this is not the case, non-determination can be appealed under section 78(2)(a) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

What is the neighbour consultation scheme?

The neighbour consultation scheme is a form of prior approval which only applies to larger extensions built under the increased permitted development rights that are in place between 30 May 2013 and 30 May 2019 for householder single storey rear extensions. A householder wishing to build a larger extension will notify the local authority, who will then consult the adjoining neighbours in relation to the potential impact on amenity. If they raise any objections, the local planning authority will make a decision on whether the impact on the amenity of adjoining properties is acceptable and hence whether the work can proceed.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Can a refusal of prior approval be appealed?

If an application for prior approval is refused, the applicant has a right to appeal the decision under section 78(1)(c) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. More information on this is available in guidance on planning appeals.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

What permitted development rights are time-limited?

There is a range of time-limited permitted development rights. Where these apply there are different types of time limits. Some allow development to be retained permanently but require that it is completed by a specified date. Others allow change of use development, but only for temporary periods of time.

The following rights allow development to be retained permanently provided that development is completed by the dates specified in the relevant Parts in Schedule 2 to the General Permitted Development Order:

  • the size limits for householder single-storey rear extensions are increased from 4 metres to 8 metres for detached houses, and from 3 metres to 6 metres for all other types of houses. The new larger extensions are subject to a neighbour consultation scheme
  • change of use from storage or distribution to residential; and
  • change of use from light industrial to residential

The following change of use permitted development rights apply for temporary time periods:

  • change in use of a building in any use class (apart from Class A4 drinking establishments, including drinking establishments with expanded food provision) to a state-funded school for 2 academic years provided this has been approved by the minister with policy responsibility for schools;

  • the provision for buildings of a temporary state-funded school on previously vacant commercial land for up to 3 academic years provided this has been approved by the minister with policy responsibility for schools;

  • change in use of a building from a use falling in Class A1 (shops), A2 (financial and professional services), A3 (restaurants and cafes), Class A5 (hot food takeaways), B1 (business), D1 (non-residential institutions), D2 (assembly and leisure) a betting office or a pay day loan shop to a flexible use falling within Classes A1 (shops), A2 (financial and professional services), A3 (restaurants and cafes) or Class B1 (business) for a single continuous period of up to 2 years.

Full details on all of the above can be found in the relevant Parts of Schedule 2 to the General Permitted Development Order. Ministers will review time-limited permitted development rights in due course to determine whether they should be extended.

Paragraph: 033 Reference ID: 13-033-20180615

Revision date: 15 06 2018 See previous version

What happens if physical building work or change of use is not completed by the date specified in the General Permitted Development Order?

If the physical development or the change of use is not completed by the date specified then enforcement action could be taken, or it may be necessary to make a planning application.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Is it necessary to contact the local planning authority after completing work under permitted development?

Where the permitted development rights are time-limited (which means that the General Permitted Development Order specifies a date when the permitted development rights will expire), there is a requirement to notify the local planning authority when work has been completed. The relevant Parts in Schedule 2 to the General Permitted Development Order will specify when after development is completed the local planning authority should be notified.

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What is an article 4 direction?

An article 4 direction is a direction under article 4 of the General Permitted Development Order which enables the Secretary of State or the local planning authority to withdraw specified permitted development rights across a defined area.

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What can an article 4 direction do?

Provided that there is justification for both its purpose and extent, an article 4 direction can:

  • cover an area of any geographic size, from a specific site to a local authority-wide area
  • remove specified permitted development rights related to operational development or change of use
  • remove permitted development rights with temporary or permanent effect

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When is it appropriate to use article 4 directions?

The use of article 4 directions to remove national permitted development rights should be limited to situations where this is necessary to protect local amenity or the wellbeing of the area. The potential harm that the direction is intended to address should be clearly identified. There should be a particularly strong justification for the withdrawal of permitted development rights relating to:

  • a wide area (eg those covering the entire area of a local planning authority, National Park or Area of Outstanding National Beauty)
  • agriculture and forestry development. Article 4 directions related to agriculture and forestry will need to demonstrate that permitted development rights pose a serious threat to areas or landscapes of exceptional beauty
  • cases where prior approval powers are available to control permitted development
  • leisure plots and uses
  • the installation of microgeneration equipment

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Can all permitted development rights be withdrawn by an article 4 direction?

Some permitted development rights cannot be removed via article 4 directions. These are set out in article 4(1) to (3) of the General Permitted Development Order. These exemptions are to ensure permitted development rights related to national concerns, safety, or maintenance work for existing facilities cannot be withdrawn.

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Does an article 4 direction mean that development is not allowed?

An article 4 direction only means that a particular development cannot be carried out under permitted development and therefore needs a planning application. This gives a local planning authority the opportunity to consider a proposal in more detail.

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Is a planning application fee payable where development that would otherwise have been permitted development requires a planning application?

Yes, a planning application fee may be payable. Details of planning fees are set out in the 2012 Fees Regulations, as amended.

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Revision date: 22 02 2018 See previous version

Is compensation payable where permitted development rights have been withdrawn?

If a local planning authority makes an article 4 direction, it can be liable to pay compensation to those whose permitted development rights have been withdrawn, but only if it then subsequently:

  • refuses planning permission for development which would otherwise have been permitted development; or
  • grants planning permission subject to more limiting conditions than the General Permitted Development Order

The grounds on which compensation can be claimed are limited to abortive expenditure or other loss or damage directly attributable to the withdrawal of permitted development rights.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Where is there more information on compensation?

Compensation provisions are set out in sections 107 and 108 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and the Town and Country Planning (Compensation) (England) Regulations 2015 set out when time limits apply.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Can an article 4 direction provide immediate protection?

Yes. There are 2 types of directions under the General Permitted Development Order: non-immediate directions and directions with immediate effect. An immediate direction can withdraw permitted development rights straight away; however they must be confirmed by the local planning authority within 6 months of coming into effect to remain in force. Confirmation occurs after the local planning authority has carried out a local consultation.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

When can an immediate direction be used?

The circumstances in which an immediate direction can restrict development are limited. Immediate directions can be made in relation to development permitted by Parts 1 to 4 and 11 of Schedule 2 to the General Permitted Development Order, where the development presents an immediate threat to local amenity or prejudices the proper planning of an area. Immediate directions can also be made in relation to certain types of development in conservation areas. In all cases the local planning authorities must have already begun the consultation processes towards the making a non-immediate article 4 direction.

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Can development continue if an article 4 direction is made where work has already started?

Article 4 directions cannot prevent development which has been commenced, or which has already been carried out.

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What are the procedures for making an article 4 direction?

The procedures for making an article 4 direction are set out in schedule 3 of the General Permitted Development Order.

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Can an article 4 direction be modified or cancelled?

A local planning authority can cancel an article 4 direction by making a subsequent direction. A direction can be modified by cancelling the existing direction and replacing it with a new one. In both cases the normal procedures for making an article 4 direction apply.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Can an article 4 direction remain in place permanently once it has been confirmed?

An article 4 direction can remain in place permanently once it has been confirmed. However, local planning authorities should regularly monitor any article 4 directions to make certain that the original reasons the direction was made remain valid. Where an article 4 direction is no longer necessary it should be cancelled.

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Does an article 4 direction have to be submitted to the Secretary of State?

A local planning authority must, as soon as practicable after confirming an article 4 direction, inform the Secretary of State via the Planning Casework Unit. The Secretary of State does not have to approve article 4 directions, and will only intervene when there are clear reasons for doing so.

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What powers does the Secretary of State have?

The Secretary of State has the power to modify or cancel article 4 directions at any time before or after they are made, with the following exceptions:

  • directions with immediate effect removing permitted development rights under Parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 11 of Schedule 2 to the General Permitted Development Order may not be modified;
  • directions relating to listed buildings may not be modified;
  • directions relating to buildings notified as of architectural or historic interest may not be modified; and
  • directions relating to certain development in conservation areas may not be cancelled or modified

The Secretary of State will not use their powers unless there are clear reasons why intervention at this level is necessary.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Can an article 4 direction be used to withdraw permitted development rights for statutory undertakers?

In exceptional circumstances when an authority considers that normal planning controls should apply, article 4 directions can be used to withdraw permitted development rights for statutory undertakers, except if it is development which falls into article 4(2) or 4(3) of the General Permitted Development Order.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Can an article 4 direction be used to withdraw permitted development rights for Crown development?

In exceptional circumstances when an authority considers that normal planning controls should apply, article 4 directions can be used to withdraw permitted development rights for Crown development, with the exception of the Crown development specified in article 4(2) of the General Permitted Development Order.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Are there permitted development rights for change of use?

Yes. The General Permitted Development Order gives a national grant of planning permission to some changes of use.

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Do permitted development rights for change of use also allow for physical development?

Where associated physical development is required to implement the change of use, developers should consider whether it constitutes development and should ensure they have planning permission if necessary. Some permitted development rights for change of use allow for limited physical works to carry out the change. Full details can be found in Part 3 of Schedule 2 to the General Permitted Development Order.

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After change of use has taken place, do buildings have the permitted development rights associated with the new use?

It varies as to whether, after change of use has taken place, buildings have the permitted development rights associated with the new use. Details are set out in the General Permitted Development Order. In most cases the associated permitted development rights cannot be exercised until the change of use has taken place.

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Do any permitted development rights for change of use require prior approval?

Prior approval is required for some permitted development rights for change of use.

Full details can be found in Part 3 of Schedule 2 to the General Permitted Development Order.

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Are there permitted development rights for reusing an agricultural building?

There is a range of permitted development rights to support the re-use of agricultural buildings and land within their curtilage. These permitted development rights are set out in Classes Q, R and S, of Part 3 of Schedule 2 (changes of use) to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015.

View further details of the permitted development rights for the change of use of agricultural buildings.

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Revision date: 05 03 2015

Where can I find out if a particular office building is in an exempted area not subject to B1(a) offices to C3 residential permitted development rights?

Maps of exempted areas are published on GOV.UK: Areas exempt from office to residential change of use permitted development right 2013. Queries about the maps should be directed to the relevant local planning authority within which the building is situated.

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Are there any permitted development rights which allow movement between sui generis uses?

There are permitted development right allowing movement between some sui generis uses and other uses. Details can be found in Part 3 of Schedule 2 to the General Permitted Development Order.

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Do I need to apply for planning permission to demolish a building or structure?

Planning permission may be required to demolish a building. If planning permission is not required, you may still be required to seek prior approval from the local planning authority before demolishing a building. There are a number of factors that determine what permission or prior approval you will need before demolishing a building which are explained below.

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Do I need to apply for planning permission to demolish a pub?

An application for planning permission is required for the demolition of any pub or other drinking establishment within the A4 ‘drinking establishments’ use class, including those with an expanded food offer.

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Revision date: 22 02 2018

(a) Is demolition required as part of the redevelopment of the site?

Where the demolition of one or more buildings is required as part of a redevelopment, details of the demolition can be included in the planning application. This will enable the local planning authority the opportunity to consider demolition alongside other aspects of the development. Where appropriate, the local planning authority may impose conditions on demolition if planning permission is granted.

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(b) Is the scale of demolition proposed such that an Environmental Impact Assessment is required?

In some instances the scale of demolition alone may trigger the requirement for an environmental impact assessment. See guidance on Environmental Impact Assessment. If demolition does trigger the need to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment then you will need to apply for planning permission.

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(c) Are the buildings or structures to be demolished in a conservation area?

Buildings or structures which are in a conservation area are subject to stricter controls over demolition than when buildings are outside of a conservation area. Under section 196D of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 it is an offence to undertake “relevant demolition” of an unlisted building in a conservation area without the necessary planning permission.

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(c1) What permissions/prior approvals are required for demolition in a conservation area?

All demolition in conservation areas requires an application for planning permission to be made to the local planning authority, except that:

a) buildings with a volume not exceeding 50 cubic metres can be demolished without planning permission because this does not amount to development having regard to the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (Demolition – Description of Buildings) Direction 2014.

b) demolition of buildings and structures listed in the Conservation Areas (application of section 74 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990) Direction 2015, the conservation areas, including:

  • any building with a volume of under 115 cubic metres (not included in (a) above); and
  • any gate, fence, wall or other means of enclosure less than 1 metre high where abutting on a highway (including a public footpath or bridleway) waterway or open space; or less than 2 metres high in any other case;

is permitted development under Part 11 of Schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, as amended. No planning application is required because planning permission for the demolition is granted by the Order, subject to conditions set out in Part 11. For example, the prior approval of the local planning authority may be required as to the method of demolition and the proposed restoration of the site.

Note – Demolition is not permitted by Part 11 where the building has been rendered unsafe or uninhabitable by the action or inaction of anyone having an interest in the land on which the building stands, and can be made secure through repair or temporary support.

No planning permission or prior approval is required for the demolition of listed buildings or scheduled ancient monuments.

It is an offence under section 196D of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to undertake “relevant demolition” of an unlisted building in a conservation area without the necessary planning permission.

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(c2) What permissions/prior approvals are required for demolition outside conservation areas?

Demolition of a building, apart from a pub or other drinking establishment in the A4 use class, outside conservation areas is permitted development under Part 11 of Schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, as amended. No planning application is required because planning permission for the demolition is granted by the Order, subject to conditions set out in Part 11. For example, the prior approval of the local planning authority may be required as to the method of demolition and the proposed restoration of the site.

Note – Demolition is not permitted by Part 11 where the building has been rendered unsafe or uninhabitable by the action or inaction of anyone having an interest in the land on which the building stands, and can be made secure through repair or temporary support.

But no application for planning permission or prior approval is required to demolish:

  • any building with a volume of under 50 cubic metres; and
  • the whole or any part of any gate, fence, wall or other means of enclosure;

because these changes are not development having regard to the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (Demolition – Description of Buildings) Direction 2014.

No application for planning permission or prior approval is required for the demolition of listed buildings or scheduled ancient monuments.

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Revision date: 22 02 2018 See previous version

(d) Why doesn’t the demolition of listed buildings and scheduled ancient monuments require planning permission or prior approval?

An application for planning permission or prior approval is not required for the demolition of a listed building or scheduled ancient monument. This is because demolition of these types of building/structures is controlled by separate consent regimes. It is important to speak to your local planning authority before undertaking any demolition in relation to these types of building or structures to be clear on what consent processes apply.

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How do I get prior approval for demolition?

Before undertaking demolition which is permitted development under Part 11 of Schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, as amended, you must apply to the local planning authority, providing a written description of the proposed demolition. At the same time you must put up a site notice about the proposed demolition. The local planning authority will then determine whether prior approval is required for the method of demolition and any proposed restoration of the site. The local planning authority may then grant or refuse the prior approval. If, within 28 days of your application, the local planning authority has given no indication of whether prior approval is required or not, the demolition may begin without prior approval.

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Does a statutory undertaker have to notify a local planning authority before carrying out work under permitted development?

Not unless it is a condition in a relevant class in Schedule 2 to the General Permitted Development Order that a statutory undertaker should give notice to a local planning authority before carrying out permitted development. However, if development is likely to have a significant local effect then, to provide fair warning to persons likely to be affected (including other statutory undertakers), these should be discussed with a local planning authority.

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When notified by a statutory undertaker of an intention to carry out permitted development are local planning authorities required to publicise the development?

Statutory undertakers carrying out development under permitted development rights are not subject to the same publicity requirements as a full planning application. However, public consultation may be beneficial if development is expected to have a particularly significant impact. In such instances consultation could be initiated by either the local planning authority or the statutory undertaker. Any consultation should allow adequate time to consider representations and, if necessary, amend proposals.

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What permitted development rights are there for fixed and mobile telecommunications?

Part 16 of Schedule 2 to the General Permitted Development Order specifies what permitted development rights there are for fixed and mobile telecommunications. This part also sets out what exceptions, limitations, and conditions apply to these permitted development rights.

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Is there any guidance for the siting and design of fixed and mobile electronic telecommunications equipment?

To ensure the siting and design of fixed and mobile electronic telecommunications equipment is acceptable, sector led codes of best practice have been published.

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Revision date: 28 07 2017 See previous version

What is the status of the government’s 2002 code of best practice for mobile phone network development?

The 2002 code of best practice has been superseded and replaced by a new code of best practice issued in July 2013.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Are there any other regulations that fixed and mobile operators have to adhere to?

In addition to the permitted development rights for both fixed and mobile electronic telecommunications, operators are required by regulation 5 of the Electronic Communications Code (Conditions and Restrictions) Regulations 2003 to notify local planning authorities of their intention to install equipment.

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What permitted development rights are there for the installation of domestic and non-domestic microgeneration equipment?

Part 14 of Schedule 2 to the General Permitted Development Order specifies what permitted development rights there are for domestic and non-domestic microgeneration equipment. This part also sets out what exceptions, limitations, and conditions apply to these permitted development rights.

Part 14 defines the term ‘microgeneration’ by reference to section 82(6) of the Energy Act 2004.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Permitted development rights for the change of use of agricultural buildings

What new uses can an agricultural building change to?

There are 3 main uses to which an agricultural building can change under permitted development rights. They are to:

There are size thresholds, limitations and conditions associated with the rights.

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Revision date: 05 03 2015

What are the flexible uses?

Subject to a number of conditions and restrictions, agricultural buildings and land in their curtilage may convert to a “flexible use” under Class R. Flexible use means any use falling within Class A1 (shops), Class A2 (financial and professional services), Class A3 (restaurants and cafes), Class B1 (business), Class B8 (storage or distribution), Class C1 (hotels) or Class D2 (assembly and leisure) of the Schedule to the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987.

The size thresholds, limitations and conditions are set out at Class R of Part 3 of Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015.

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Revision date: 05 03 2015

What are the educational uses?

Subject to a number of conditions and restrictions, agricultural buildings and land may convert to a “state-funded school” or “a registered nursery”.

A state-funded school is a school funded wholly or mainly from public funds, including:

A registered nursery means non-domestic premises in respect of which a person is registered under Part 3 of the Childcare Act 2006(a) to provide early years provision.

The size thresholds, limitations and conditions are set out at Class S of Part 3 of Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015.

In addition, subject to a number of conditions and restrictions, there is a right to change use of a building and any land within its curtilage as a state-funded school for two academic years. The rights are set out in Class C of Part 4 of Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015.

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Revision date: 28 07 2017 See previous version

What are the residential uses?

Subject to a number of conditions and restrictions, agricultural buildings and land within their curtilage may convert to a use falling within Class C3 of the Schedule to the Use Classes Order 1987 (dwelling houses). These conditions and restrictions are set out in Class Q of Part 3 of Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 as amended.

The right allows for a maximum number for the following types of houses:

  • up to 3 larger homes, to be greater than 100 square metres and within an overall floorspace of 465 square metres; or
  • up to 5 smaller homes each no greater than 100 square metres; or
  • up to 5 homes comprising a mixture of larger and smaller homes, with neither exceeding the thresholds for each type home.

The right requires that for larger homes each of the 3 homes has to be larger than 100 square metres in residential use and allows for up to 1 home of 465 square metres in residential use. For smaller homes the right requires that a home can have no more than 100 square metres of floor space in residential use. Development of dwelling houses other than those defined as “larger” or “smaller” is not allowed under Class Q. In calculating the number of new homes allowed under the right any existing homes within the established agricultural unit not granted permission under Class Q should be discounted.

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Revision date: 15 06 2018 See previous version

What works are permitted under the Class Q permitted development right for change of use from an agricultural building to residential use?

The right allows either the change of use (a), or the change of use together with reasonably necessary building operations (b). Building works are allowed under the right permitting agricultural buildings to change to residential use: Class Q of Part 3 of Schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, as amended. However, the right assumes that the agricultural building is capable of functioning as a dwelling. The right permits building operations which are reasonably necessary to convert the building, which may include those which would affect the external appearance of the building and would otherwise require planning permission. This includes the installation or replacement of windows, doors, roofs, exterior walls, water, drainage, electricity, gas or other services to the extent reasonably necessary for the building to function as a dwelling house; and partial demolition to the extent reasonably necessary to carry out these building operations. It is not the intention of the permitted development right to allow rebuilding work which would go beyond what is reasonably necessary for the conversion of the building to residential use. Therefore it is only where the existing building is already suitable for conversion to residential use that the building would be considered to have the permitted development right.

For a discussion of the difference between conversions and rebuilding, see for instance the case of Hibbitt and another v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) and Rushcliffe Borough Council (2) [2016] EWHC 2853 (Admin).

Internal works are not generally development. For the building to function as a dwelling it may be appropriate to undertake internal structural works, including to allow for a floor, the insertion of a mezzanine or upper floors within the overall residential floor space permitted, or internal walls, which are not prohibited by Class Q.

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Revision date: 15 06 2018 See previous version

Are there any limitations to the change to residential use?

There are some limitations to the change to residential use. The Class Q rights cannot be exercised where works to erect, extend or alter a building for the purposes of agriculture under the existing agricultural permitted development rights have been carried out on the established agricultural unit since 20 March 2013, or within 10 years before exercising the change to residential use, whichever is the lesser. The agricultural permitted development rights to erect, extend or alter a building are set out in Class A (a) or Class B (a) of Part 6 of Schedule 2 to the General Permitted Development Order, as amended (agricultural buildings and operations).

In addition, the site must have been used solely for an agricultural use, as part of an established agricultural unit, on 20 March 2013, or if it was not in use on that date, when it was last in use. If the site was brought into use after 20 March 2013, then it must have been used solely for an agricultural use, as part of an established agricultural unit, for 10 years before the date the development begins. If there is an agricultural tenancy in place, there are separate arrangements set out in Class Q.

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Revision date: 15 06 2018 See previous version

Are there any conditions attached to the change to residential use?

There are some conditions attached to the change to residential use. Before beginning the development, an individual will need to apply to the local planning authority for a determination as to whether the prior approval of the local planning authority is necessary for the change of use. This prior approval will be in respect of transport, highways and noise impacts of the development, and also as to the flooding and contamination risks on the site, and whether the location or siting of the building makes it otherwise impractical or undesirable for the building to change from agricultural use to dwelling house. In addition, applicants will need to check whether the prior approval of the authority will be required as to the design or external appearance of the building.

The procedure for prior approval is set out in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, as amended. This procedure was amended in April 2014 to make clear that the local planning authority must only consider the National Planning Policy Framework to the extent that it is relevant to the matter on which prior approval is sought, for example, transport, highways, noise etc.

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Revision date: 05 03 2015

Is there a sustainability prior approval for the change to residential use?

The permitted development right does not apply a test in relation to sustainability of location. This is deliberate as the right recognises that many agricultural buildings will not be in village settlements and may not be able to rely on public transport for their daily needs. Instead, the local planning authority can consider whether the location and siting of the building would make it impractical or undesirable to change use to a house.

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Revision date: 05 03 2015

What is meant by impractical or undesirable for the change to residential use?

Impractical or undesirable are not defined in the regulations, and the local planning authority should apply a reasonable ordinary dictionary meaning in making any judgment. Impractical reflects that the location and siting would “not be sensible or realistic”, and undesirable reflects that it would be “harmful or objectionable”.

When considering whether it is appropriate for the change of use to take place in a particular location, a local planning authority should start from the premise that the permitted development right grants planning permission, subject to the prior approval requirements. That an agricultural building is in a location where the local planning authority would not normally grant planning permission for a new dwelling is not a sufficient reason for refusing prior approval.

There may, however, be circumstances where the impact cannot be mitigated. Therefore, when looking at location, local planning authorities may, for example, consider that because an agricultural building on the top of a hill with no road access, power source or other services its conversion is impractical. Additionally the location of the building whose use would change may be undesirable if it is adjacent to other uses such as intensive poultry farming buildings, silage storage or buildings with dangerous machines or chemicals.

When a local authority considers location and siting it should not therefore be applying tests from the National Planning Policy Framework except to the extent these are relevant to the subject matter of the prior approval. So, for example, factors such as whether the property is for a rural worker, or whether the design is of exceptional quality or innovative, are unlikely to be relevant.

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Revision date: 05 03 2015

What types of area-wide local planning permission are there?

Permitted development rights are set nationally, and apply across the whole of England. However there are other locally focused tools which can be used by a local planning authority to grant planning permission for development in their geographic area. These tools are:

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What is a Local Development Order?

Local Development Orders are made by local planning authorities and give a grant of planning permission to specific types of development within a defined area. They streamline the planning process by removing the need for developers to make a planning application to a local planning authority. They create certainty and save time and money for those involved in the planning process.

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What land area can a Local Development Order cover?

A Local Development Order can cover a geographical area of any size; however, Local Development Orders cannot cross local authority boundaries. Two or more local planning authorities may wish to co-implement or co-consult on cross-boundary Local Development Orders, but each individual authority must adopt their own Local Development Order.

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Are Local Development Orders permanent or time-limited?

Local Development Orders are very flexible tools, and it may be appropriate for them to be either permanent or time-limited, depending on their aim and local circumstances. For example, Local Development Orders in fast-developing areas may be time-limited so that they can be easily revised and updated in the future, while Local Development Orders which extend permitted development rights in established areas may be permanent.

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Local Development Orders do not remove or supersede any local authority planning permission (or permission granted on appeal) or permitted development rights which are already in place. Equally, they do not prevent a planning application being submitted to a local planning authority for development which is not specified in the Order.

Local Development Orders only grant planning permission, and do not remove the need to comply with other relevant legislation and regulations.

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What restrictions are there on the use of Local Development Orders?

A Local Development Order cannot grant planning permission for development which is likely to have a significant effect on a European Site or European Offshore Marine Site (either alone or in combination with other plans and projects), and is not directly connected with or necessary to the management of the site.

Regulation 78 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 gives more information. European Sites and European Offshore Marine Sites are sites of the sort described in regulation 8 of those Regulations and designated under processes set out in the Regulations.

Regulation 29 of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2011 provides special rules for Local Development Orders relating to development that would fall within Schedule 2 to these Regulations. The local planning authority or the Secretary of State must first screen the proposed development to identify its likely environmental effects.

If screening identifies that development is not likely to give rise to any significant environmental effects then no further work is required and the development can be permitted by means of a Local Development Order. Where screening identifies that the proposed development is likely to have a significant environmental effect, the development can still be permitted by means of a Local Development Order.

However, the local planning authority must first produce an Environmental Statement and then take this environmental information into consideration in their decision on the Local Development Order.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

What are the procedures for making a Local Development Order?

The procedures for making a Local Development Order are set out in sections 61A to 61D and Schedule 4A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, as amended, and articles 38 and 41 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015.

The Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013 simplified the Local Development Order process by removing the requirement for the local planning authority to submit the order to the Secretary of State before adoption for consideration of whether to intervene.

This was replaced by a requirement to notify the Secretary of State, via the Planning Casework Unit at PCU@communities.gsi.gov.uk, as soon as practicable after adoption.

The Act also removed the requirement for Local Development Orders to be reported on as part of Authorities’ Monitoring Reports.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Can Local Development Orders be revoked and modified?

A local planning authority can revoke a Local Development Order at any time. If a local planning authority wishes to modify a Local Development Order, re-consultation may be required. The Secretary of State can also require the revision of a Local Development Order by the local planning authority at any point before or after its adoption.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Can conditions be attached to Local Development Orders?

A local planning authority is able to impose planning conditions on a Local Development Order in much the same way as the Secretary of State can impose conditions on permitted development rights in the General Permitted Development Order. Some of the conditions imposed in a Local Development Order may be similar to conditions that may be imposed on a normal grant of planning permission. A local planning authority should try to avoid imposing excessive numbers of conditions on Local Development Orders. The purpose of Local Development Orders is to simplify and speed up local planning, and this is likely to be undermined by placing overly onerous burdens on developers.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Can section 106 planning obligations be required under a local development order?

Section 106 planning obligations cannot be required under a Local Development Order; however, this does not prevent section 106 agreements being offered by a developer. For example, if a condition attached to a Local Development Order requires mitigation of an impact from development then a section 106 agreement could be used to secure this.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Is development carried out under a Local Development Order subject to a Community Infrastructure Levy charge?

Development carried out under a local development order may be liable to pay a Community Infrastructure Levy charge where one applies.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

What is a Neighbourhood Development Order?

A Neighbourhood Development Order can be used in designated neighbourhood areas to grant planning permission for development specified in an Order. They allow communities the opportunity to bring forward the type of development they wish to see in their neighbourhood areas.

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Who can make a Neighbourhood Development Order?

Neighbourhood Development Orders are proposed by ‘qualifying bodies’ which are town or parish councils or a designated neighbourhood forum and made by the local planning authority.

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What size area can a Neighbourhood Development Order cover?

Neighbourhood Development Orders are not limited as to the size of land they can cover. However, they can only apply to land which falls within the specific designated neighbourhood area to which the community proposing the Order is the qualifying body.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

What type of permission can a Neighbourhood Development Order grant?

Neighbourhood Development Orders can grant either unconditional or conditional planning permission for development.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Is development carried out under a Neighbourhood Development Order subject to a Community Infrastructure Levy charge?

Development carried out under a Neighbourhood Development Order may be liable to pay a Community Infrastructure Levy charge where one applies.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

What is the procedure for making a Neighbourhood Development Order?

The legal procedures for making a Neighbourhood Development Order are set in section 61E and Schedule 4B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, as amended, the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 and article 42 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Is it possible to modify a Neighbourhood Development Order?

A local planning authority can modify an Order to correct errors so long as the qualifying body that initiated the Order agrees with the changes, and is still authorised to act as the qualifying body. The procedures for modifying are orders set out in the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Does the Secretary of State have powers in relation to neighbourhood development orders?

The Secretary of State has the power to revoke any Neighbourhood Development Order which is made. A local planning authority, with the permission from the Secretary of State, may also revoke a Neighbourhood Development Order.

If a local planning authority wishes to revoke an Order, it is important that they first engage with the neighbourhood planning body so that the reason for the revocation can be understood and considered by the community that supported the Order.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

What is a Community Right to Build Order?

A Community Right to Build Order is a type of development order which grants planning permission to development specified in the Order. It differs from Neighbourhood Development Orders because it can be prepared by community organisations, not just a town or parish council or neighbourhood forum (where a neighbourhood forum is a constituted community organisation).

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What is a community organisation?

For the purposes of the Localism Act 2011, a community organisation must be a legally constituted organisation, for example a company limited by guarantee with charitable status or a registered charity and meet other legal tests.

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What is the procedure for making a Community Right to Build Order?

The legal procedures for Community Right to Build are found in the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012. Schedule 11 of the Localism Act 2011 provides the primary legislative provisions for Community Right to Build Orders.

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Does a Community Right to Build Order have to comply with national planning policy and local strategic planning policy?

A Community Right to Build Order must meet a number of basic conditions and other legal tests. More information on these conditions and tests can be found in neighbourhood planning guidance.

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Does a Community Right to Build Order give a community organisation rights over land?

A Community Right to Build Order does not give a community organisation ownership rights to any land to which it relates; land will still need to be purchased from the land owner or their permission given to build on the land in question.

Where a community organisation wishes to undertake development permitted by the Order, it will be responsible for funding the costs of the process and overseeing all stages of development to completion.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Is development carried out under a Community Right to Build Order subject to a Community Infrastructure Levy charge?

Development carried out under a Community Right to Build Order may be liable to pay a Community Infrastructure Levy charge where one applies.

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Revision date: 06 03 2014

Published 6 March 2014
Last updated 15 June 2018 + show all updates
  1. Amended paragraphs 033, 104, 114 and 116.
  2. Updated paragraphs 041, 065 and 105. Added new paragraphs 115, 116, 117 and 118.
  3. Added new paragraphs 112,113 and 114 on farm shops, polytunnels and on-farm reservoirs and updated paragraphs 033, 071 and 103.
  4. First published.