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03rd December 2020

Further Changes to the General Permitted Development Order Come into Force

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Further changes to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (“the Order”) will come into force today.

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 will require homes delivered through permitted development rights to meet nationally described space standards, and will extend some of the temporary relaxations permitted at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

From 6 April 2021, the changes will require all new homes in England delivered through permitted development rights to meet the nationally described space standards as published by the Department of Communities and Local Government on 27 March 2015.  The space standards begin at 37m² of floorspace for a new one bed flat with a shower room and 39m² for a one bed flat with a bathroom, and increase to 61m² for a 2 bed. This new requirement is designed to address criticism that the use of permitted development rights has led to the delivery of poor quality housing.  The space standards will not apply where prior approval has already been obtained, or where prior approval is obtained pursuant to an application submitted prior to 6 April.

The period allowed for the temporary use of land under permitted development rights was extended from 28 days to 56 days at the start of the pandemic, and this is extended until 31 December 2021 by the new Regulations.  Similarly, a total of 28 days (rather than 14) is permitted for the holding of a market or motor car and motorcycle racing until that date.  The amendments also extend to 23 March 2022 the permitted development rights to allow a local authority to hold a market for an unlimited number of days without the need for planning permission.

The changes to the Order will also extend existing permitted development rights allowing restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments and drinking establishments with an expanded food offer to temporarily provide takeaway food until 23 March 2022.  This is said to be “in order to support businesses, protect employment and ensure food supply during the coronavirus pandemic”.

The amendments to the Order will also remove permitted development rights for the demolition of theatres, concert halls and live music venues.  The purpose of this permanent change is “to protect these venues, preventing their unnecessary loss as a result of having to close due to the coronavirus pandemic”.

The new regulations also extend the date for the expiry of the current right for local authorities and health service bodies to carry out development on land owned, occupied or maintained by them for the purposes of addressing emergencies from 31 December 2020 until 31 December 2021.  These rights were introduced at the start of the pandemic to allow the construction of facilities such as the Nightingale Hospitals.

For more information on the items raised in this article please contact Gemma Dudley on 01223 532747 or click here to email Gemma.