30 September 2014, The General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) 1995 was amended from 30th May 2013 to allow Class B1(a) office space to be converted to Class C3 dwellings houses without the need for planning permission. As set out in paragraph M, these rights are subject to conditions requiring prior approval in respect of transport and highways impact, contamination risk and flood risk. The right was due to expire on 30th May 2016 – however, in a technical consultation issued in July, the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) have proposed to make the permitted development right permanent.
In addition, the Government also consulted on extending permitted development rights to enable the following uses to change to residential:
• B1(c) light industrial
• B8 storage and distribution
• Some sui generis uses - launderettes, amusement arcades, casinos and nightclubs
The DCLG technical consultation closed on 26th September 2014. Ian Gillespie, Partner, commentated:
“Whilst the Government will need to consider the responses received to the consultation, recent experience would suggest that the proposed changes are likely to make it to the statute book – albeit with the possible introduction of additional safeguards”.