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Archive for the ‘Planning Permision’ Category

Sleeping in the Office

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Malcolm Poynter

Malcolm Poynter – Partner

For some time it has been possible to convert office to residential accommodation with an automatic planning permission subject to Local Authority prior approval.   Prior approval does not take into account the desirability of the development. It ensures there are no adverse consequences for transport, highways, contamination and flooding.

This was a temporary measure to boost housing and expires on the 30th May 2016. The Government have now announced that this measure will be made permanent. There are some exemptions most notably in and around listed buildings or scheduled monuments. There are also geographic areas that have a general exemption. These exceptions will continue for the time being.

Further measures are in the pipeline including similar rules for light industrial buildings and launderettes.

For further details please contact Malcolm Poynter on 01635 521212 or

Written by Malcolm Poynter

October 20th, 2015 at 3:24 pm

Change of Use and Planning Permission

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The starting position is that if you propose to change the use of a property then planning permission will be required if that change is material. 

Malcolm Poynter

Malcolm Poynter – Managing Partner

However, there are many cases in which specific changes may be permitted without planning permission. The Town and Country Planning Use Classes Order groups’ various uses together into classes. Changing use within a class does not require planning permission, provided specific conditions are met. For example, retail shops are classed as A1 so generally you can change the use of a property from a fish mongers to a grocers without planning permission.

There are also various change of uses permitted under General Development Orders.

The most recent Permitted Development Rights came into effect on the 30th May. Change of use for agricultural buildings under 500sqm may often not require planning permission as such but prior approval is still required for specific issues.

Of particular significance are the new rules allowing many offices to be converted to residential use. Again there are strict conditions and prior approval on various issues is required.

When approval of specific issues is required, for example, in relation to transport or flood, the local authority may only object on the basis of those issues.

It should be borne in mind that even if the change of use does not require planning permission, if there are associated external building works then those works may themselves require planning permission.

Building Regulation approval may be required even if there are no physical works.

Further details please contact Malcolm Poynter on 01635 521212 or



Written by Malcolm Poynter

October 24th, 2013 at 10:51 am