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Changes to Prior Approvals for 1 August 2020

by on July 22, 2020

New government legislation, coming into effect on 1 August 2020, will look to ensure that all new dwellings built under permitted development rights provide their occupants with adequate natural light.

We are updating several areas of our online service for Prior Approval applications to account for these changes.

We are also taking the opportunity to correct a known issue in determining the eligibility of proposals for the installation of solar equipment; and warn users of the imminent expiry (1 October 2020) of the permitted development rights for the change of use from light industrial to dwellinghouses.

This work will help ensure that these applications are valid and complete when submitted to local planning authorities.

Finally, we will be introducing a PDF form to enable Prior Approval applications for the new Permitted Development right that is also being introduced on 1 August 2020 for construction of up-to two additional storeys on existing blocks of detached flats to create additional dwellings.

Further information on the changes to be made are detailed below.

We are also aware of further changes to Permitted Development and Use Classes that have recently been published and take effect at the start of September, we will address these separately going forward.

Current Prior Approval applications requiring additional information

Based on the amendments to Permitted Development legislation published by Government.

From 1 August 2020, several of the current prior approval procedures for the creation of dwellinghouses via changes of use will request additional information in regard to the “provision of adequate natural light to all habitable rooms”.

We will be asking applicants to provide this information as part of the description of the proposed development.

As part of this change, these types of application will also require a ‘Floor Plan’ to be submitted “indicating the dimensions and proposed use of each room, the position and dimensions of windows, doors and walls, and the elevations of the dwellinghouses”. Therefore, we will be updating the mandatory supporting document requirements to ensure this is provided.

We will also update our paper PDF forms to account for these changes.

Application types affected:

  • Prior Approval: Change of use – retail/takeaway to dwellinghouses (42)
  • Prior Approval: Change of use – agriculture to dwellinghouses (44)
  • Prior Approval: Change of use – offices to dwellinghouses (48)
  • Prior Approval: Change of use – light industrial to dwellinghouses (49)
  • Prior Approval: Change of use – amusements/casinos to dwellinghouses (50)

New type of Prior Approval application type for additional storeys on blocks of flats

Based on the amendments to Permitted Development legislation published by Government.

A new permitted development right and associated Prior Approval application type is being 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.

We have made this available as a fillable PDF form which can downloaded via our ‘Paper forms’ section.

Currently, there is no fee set for this type of application, but a legislative amendment to enable one has now been made and will come into force on 2 September 2020. For reference the fee will be around 70% the cost of a full application for the same number of houses.

We are planning to integrate this with the online application service in the future.

Initial fix to the eligibility question for Prior Approval applications for installation of solar equipment

The Flat/Pitched roof type options in the ‘Eligibility’ question for this application type were mislabelled (i.e. the wrong way around).

We’re updating the content to correct this and make users aware of the issue.

We will also communicate with applicants and Local Authorities individually regarding affected applications.

This is in advance of a fix that will resolve the issue permanently.

Permitted Development rights (via Prior Approval) for changes of use from light industrial to dwellinghouses expiring on 1 October 2020

With no indication from Government that these rights will be extended, we are updating the content on the ‘Eligibility’ question for this application type to clearly warn applicants that development will not be permitted if the ‘prior approval date’ is on or after 1 October 2020.

The ‘prior approval date’ is the date on which either:

  • Prior approval is given or determined to not be required; or
  • The 56-day period for determining the application, following the date it was received, expires.
  1. GillyU permalink

    I see no reference on the portal re the new T&P Country Planning (GPD) (England) (Amendment) (No.2) Order 2020… will this be added? My question concerns Class AA… new PD rights from 1 Sep 2020 do NOT appear to apply to dwellinghouses constructed before 1 July 1948 (or after 28th Oct 2018)…. why not? Does this mean one cannot add a storey (or two) on a property constructed before 1 Jul 1948 as such properties are excluded? If so, why is this the case? Perhaps, I am mis-reading?!

    • We are working through the latest amendments and will provide an update going forward.
      The government’s reasoning for imposing limits based on when buildings were constructed has not been specifically communicated apart from that “The right applies to houses built since 1 July 1948 (being those granted planning title under the current planning system) and 28 October 2018 when the proposal to introduce a permitted development right to extend existing houses upwards was first announced”.
      Of course, a full planning application can still be made for any proposal that falls outside the limit of any permitted development right.

      • GillyU permalink

        thanks James/ look forward to updates. My only thinking at this stage is if new PD rights to raise roof are in place from 1 Sep 2020 by way of an additional storey/ or two, then applicants seeking a full application to raise a roof above current roof line for properties pre 1 Jul 1948 might be an “easier ask” from the local planning officer… not sure if such an officer would take account/ into context the new PD Order albeit it not applying to such a request

  2. Lorna Mishan permalink

    On first reading of the new Class AA it is unclear whether you will be able to use Class AA to add a storey to an existing detached home and then use Class B, 50 cubic meters to add dormers to the roof. It is also unclear from the text whether you will be able to use Class AA to partially build up the walls of a property by say one meter, not a full storey.

Please give us your feedback but we won’t publish any comments that are not constructive or that criticise any individual, any named business or any local authority. Please note, all comments will be moderated before being published.

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