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New and amended permitted development rules and associated prior approval procedures to come into effect from 1 August

by on June 30, 2020

The latest set of amendments to Permitted Development legislation have been published by Government.

From 1 August, these will implement changes to several of the current prior approval procedures for the creation of dwellings to ensure that “provision of adequate natural light to all habitable rooms” is considered by Local Authorities, and that they should refuse proposals that do not meet requirements.

As part of this, applications will require sufficient supporting information to be provided to allow the Local Authority to make this determination.

There will also be a new right and associated Prior Approval application type introduced for the construction of up-to two additional storeys on existing blocks of detached flats to create additional dwellings, along with associated works and operations.

As with all permitted development, there are specific conditions included in the legislation to define the limitations and eligibility criteria for this new right.

The transitional arrangements required for these changes are also detailed.

Planning Portal are currently reviewing the details of the legislation in order to determine the relevant actions that are required and the approach we will take to implement the changes.

We will communicate our progress on this in due course.

11 Comments
  1. Mr R.E. Herrington permalink

    Do these rules apply to en-suite facilities adjoining bedrooms but require lighting and extract fan – no daylighgt when the door is closed !

    • The legislation states that it applies to all “habitable rooms”.

      There is no single legal definition of “habitable room”, as its use and meaning is subject to context.

      This specific legislation states that: “”habitable rooms” means any rooms used or intended to be used for sleeping or living which are not solely used for cooking purposes, but does not include bath or toilet facilities, service rooms, corridors, laundry rooms, hallways or utility rooms;”.

      This would appear to separate the bedroom (habitable room) from the en-suite (bath or toilet facilities), but if in doubt, we would always recommend discussion with the Local Planning Authority who will be determining the Prior Approval application.

  2. We need one clear all-inclusive up-to-date document containing all of the rules, not more amendments. It is increasingly hard to deal with these multiple documents.

    • Completely agree!

      An official and fully consolidated online repository of all current legislation would be of huge help to all. Should be a statutory requirement.

      Would be good if it incorporated and referenced all relevant court judgements as well.

  3. David Ryland permalink

    I also agree, this is not an easy document, far from it. Are we expected to trawl through pdf documents to add or subtract definitions? This will lead to mistakes. We need an updated consolidated set of documents.

  4. The Planning Jungle is very helpful.

  5. Chloe Fleck permalink

    The legislation states that the local planning authority may require the developer to submit ‘such information as the authority may reasonably require in order to determine the application which may include statements setting out how impacts or risks are to be mitigated having regard to the NPPF’. Between this and the other issues specifically mentioned for consideration within the legislation ( such as transport impact and external appearance) it seems that the scope of a prior approval application under this legislation could be quite open ended. Is there any further clarification available of what information could be reasonably requested or be a grounds for refusal?

    • I imagine its purposely broad to cover off a range of potential issues that could arise from any one specific proposal, but would also expect that the areas defined in the legislation will cover off the majority of cases. If the scope creeps too far away from that, then any decision may not stand up to appeal.

      Apart from comment in the sector, the related news releases and the explanatory notes, I have not found any further official guidance on this.

      However, it is usually the case that MHCLG updates the collection of Planning Practice Guidance when new legislation takes effect, so it may be worth keeping an eye on that in the coming days: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/planning-practice-guidance

  6. Pravinkant Amin permalink

    Granting of Planning permissions should be uniform. If one property gets permission of say 6metres extension, similar property must be given the same. Too much credence is given to the objections as these do not reflect the type of development but relations with neighbours etc. Whims of planning officers also come into play. Make a level playing field. My experience also show that one property from a pair of semi-detached is only permitted 3 metres extension while the other given 6metres.

  7. Phil Parker permalink

    The failure of planning authorities to be consistent is hardly a reason to throw out good planning practice. This approach assumes we are not dealing with human beings, and we are all capable of mistakes. The answer is to correct them through a fair review process. This means providing the Planning Inspectorate with enough resources, and ensuring where a planning authority is shown to be consistently failing for them to lose their powers until anew regime is in place. The current proposals work on a cutting corners is fine when it is some else’s problem basis, but this does not make it a fair or democratic process. As a result it undermines faith not only in governmnet but the very notion of a civil society.

    • I may be mistaken but there are many experienced professionals who will be preparing and submitting these prior notifications. I recall on a project I was on where an architect walked off site as the quality/cost cuts by the client was too much. Why blame LPA’s why not the professionals or am I missing something. Its all down to many things. No one gets off!

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