New legislation governing permitted development for planning purposes came into effect 15th April 2015.

This new order has de-cluttered the various rules, regulations and guidance contained in the 1995 Order and subsequent amendments, relating to what type of works to a property is permitted without the requirement for applying for and obtaining written planning permission.

The new General Permitted Development Order affects England only; the 1995 Order remains in effect in Wales.

The new Order confirms:

  1. The relaxed rules as to extensions relating to permitted development to residential dwellinghouses have been extended until 2019, rather than 2016 as with the 1995 Order.  This gives an extra 3 years for house owners to carry out extensions without having to apply for full planning permission.  Works must be completed before 30th May 2019.
  2. For non-residential properties there is no time limit, the relaxed rules are now permanent.
  3. New changes of use are now permitted without planning permission being required, for example:
    1. Converting a shop, betting office or pay day loan centre to financial or business offices;
    2. Converting a casino or amusement arcade to a domestic dwelling;
    3. Converting storage premises to a domestic dwelling.

Please do note that the relaxed rules relate to planning permission only for properties that are not listed or in a conservation area.  You must always correspond with the Building Control department and make application for Building Regulations approval and completion certificates for structural works and certain non-structural works.

In addition, you must consult with the Listed Building Officer and/or Conservation Officer if your property is listed, and/or in a Conservation Area, and/or affected by an Article 4 direction. 

Consultation must take place before works commence otherwise significant penalties can be levied and prosecution can take place.

In support of these changes, a new Order governing the procedure for planning applications came into effect on the same date. 

The Order:

  1. Provides further clarity on information required when a planning permission application is required.
  2. Sets our further requirements for the local authority to provide rationale when imposing conditions on planning permission.
  3. Clarifies the procedure where a local authority fails to discharge a planning permission condition within the timescales required by law.