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New PD rights allowing conversions of shops to offices and takeaways to homes to take effect this month

Wednesday 15 May 2019

New PD rights allowing conversions of shops to offices and takeaways to homes to take effect this month

The regulations, laid before parliament last week, follow an announcement made by housing secretary James Brokenshire as part of this year's spring statement that the rights would be introduced.

The statutory instruments do not include the controversial proposal to allow upward extensions to create new housing, though the government said it still intended to proceed with this at a later date.

Under the changes, a new class JA of the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) is created. This allows local authorities to consider proposals under the prior approval process for the conversion of shops and other high street uses, including takeaways, betting offices, payday loan shops, and launderettes, to offices.

Similar to the current PD conversions of shops to residential, the Councils will be able to assess whether there is adequate provision of the existing use and the impact on the sustainability of shopping areas when deciding if conversions should be allowed.

The regulations also allow takeaways to change use to housing under class M of the General Permitted Development Order to convert to residential without the need for planning permission.

The regulations will also make permanent a temporary PD right for home extensions of up to eight metres for detached houses and six metres for semi detached and terraced houses, allow the temporary conversion of shops and other high street premises to a wider range of community uses, increase the permitted height of electric vehicle charging points, and remove PD rights for public call boxes.

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