As the Government and opposition parties finalise their election manifestos, the Government has taken the opportunity to cut through some more planning red tape freeing up further permitted development rights to benefit businesses and householders.
Marcus Plaw, planning director at LSH in Bristol and the South West, said: “A host of changes to permitted development rights could open up opportunities for property owners – taking out some of the risk associated with pursuing planning permission.
“For example, owners of storage and distribution premises will be able to apply, subject to prior approval, to convert them to residential use. This change is subject to some important conditions including a maximum floorspace of 500 square metres, but it does open up the opportunity for sites that are perhaps outdated by virtue of the location and design to benefit from their conversion to homes.”
“Furthermore, casinos and amusement arcades will also have the right to be converted to homes. Other changes include shops and properties, currently used for financial and professional services, will have the permitted right to change to a restaurant, café, or a leisure use.
Marcus added: “These new permitted changes for town centre uses will offer the opportunity for vacant premises to get a new lease of life, bringing diversity and vibrancy to retail areas. We are advising property owners to consider these opportunities and how they might be used to improve their portfolios.”
These changes within the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 come in to force on 15 April.