Government consults on changes to PD Rights
As part of the Autumn 2018 Budget, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has announced a pr
oposal to remove the current permitted development (PD) rights for telephone kiosks and to introduce new PD rights which would allow the demolition of commercial buildings and redevelopment of those sites for housing and the conversion of properties along High Streets to a number of other uses. The consultation on the proposals is open until 14th January 2019.
The proposed changes are set out in detail in the published consultation paper ‘Planning Reform – Supporting the high street and increasing the delivery of new homes’. The document states that the government is "seeking views on new permitted development rights to allow greater flexibility for change of use; use the airspace above existing buildings for additional new homes and extensions; remove the right to install new public call boxes and the associated advertising consent; and increase the height threshold for the installation of off-street electric vehicle charging points".
In detail, the document proposes a new national PD right "to allow shops (A1) financial and professional services (A2), hot food takeaways (A5), betting shops, pay day loan shop and launderettes to change to office use (B1)". It also proposes to allow hot food takeaways (A5) to change to residential use (C3).
The document states that "with the rise of internet shopping, and the change in how people use the high street, it is timely to consider how the operation of the Use Classes Order can support greater flexibility". It is seeking views on how the A1 use class "could be simplified to ensure that it accommodates new and future business models and modern shopping preferences".
It was considered that there "could be scope for a new use class that provides for a mix of uses within the A1, A2 and A3 uses beyond that which is considered to be ancillary, which would support the diversification of high street businesses". It says the measure "would mean that movement between these uses was no longer development and not a matter for the planning system to consider".
In addition, the consultation is seeking views on proposals to allow for new PD rights to build additional storeys above certain buildings which would be subject to prior approval by the local planning authority. This was previously announced by Housing Secretary James Brokenshire at the Conference Party in early October 2018.
It is also proposed to extend and make permanent two time-limited permitted development rights: the change of use from storage or distribution to residential, introduced in 2015, and time-limited permitted development right for larger extensions to houses, introduced in 2013.
In addition, the Autumn 2018 Budget announced that the government will create a £675 million Future High Streets Fund "to help local areas make their high streets and town centres fit for the future".