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28th August 2020

Legal Challenge Brought to New Permitted Development Rights and Changes to Use Classes Order

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On 23rd July we reported on the introduction of new permitted development rights and amendments to the use classes order. A claim for Judicial Review has now been issued by the Rights: Community: Action Group to challenge this legislation which is due to come into effect next week.
The grounds for challenge are firstly that the legislation should have been subject to a Strategic Environmental Assessment and an Equalities Impact Assessment. The Action Group feels compelled to act because it believes that these changes will have a “phenomenally negative impact on the people and environment of towns and cities”.

The Action Group also claims that the Secretary of State failed to properly consider the – largely negative - consultee responses, and to take into account the Government’s own expert advice. There is reference to a Government-commissioned report which found permitted development delivers lower quality residential properties than planning permission conversions which was published on the same day as the Government announced the changes. Similarly, the Government’s Building Better Building Beautiful Commission concluded that existing permitted development rights had “inadvertently permissioned future slums”.

The new regulations were laid before Parliament the day before the summer recess, meaning that Parliament has had no opportunity to debate what the Prime Minister described as “the most radical reforms to our planning system since the Second World War” before they come into effect.

The Action Group has requested urgent interim relief in the form of a suspension of the statutory instruments pending the outcome of the challenge, but until further notice the changes will continue to come into force next week.

For more information contact Gemma Dudley on 01223 532747 or click here to email Gemma.