In one of its last actions before the General Election, the DCLG announced a number of changes to the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) and Use Class Order. These changes consolidate many of the previous amendments, but also introduce a number of new alterations.
Much has already been written and discussed about these in the past week, but one change in particular has already caused a significant amount of interest. This is the right to convert premises used for storage and distribution (B8) to residential use (C3).
This represents a significant bypass of local employment planning policy, which can often be onerous and counter-productive. The permitted change would be subject to a prior approval process and comes with several caveats. For example, the amount of floorspace that can be converted is restricted to 500 sq m and further limitations are placed on the location so that the effect on strategic employment sites is minimised. A number of other factors such as:
- air quality;
- and noise;
are included in the list of considerations that must be taken into account before a prior approval application can be determined. This new change will come into force on 15th April 2015.
Despite the list of considerations that need to be taken into account, this new permitted change could represent a significant opportunity for owners of storage and distribution buildings, particularly those that have buildings that are no longer fit for purpose but are constrained by onerous planning policy requirements.
If you have a warehouse building that may have potential for a residential conversion then contact a member of our planning team to discuss your options and how best we can assist at firstname.lastname@example.org.