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  5. New permitted development rules now in force

New permitted development rules now in force

5 June 2013

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2013 came into force on 30 May. This order amends the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995.

The new rules allow larger extensions to homes, offices and shops to be made without submitting a planning application. Instead, these extensions will be subject to a "light touch" neighbours' consultation scheme. Terraced properties will be able to make rear extensions of up to six metres and semi-detached properties of up to eight metres. Extensions on both types of properties will be limited to four metres in height. This change will last until 30 May 2016, after which the scope for extending the scheme will be assessed.

The new rules will also allow the change of use of buildings from B1 offices to C3 homes in order to provide new homes in existing buildings. However, this part of the legislation does not apply to areas in 17 local authorities, which are set out in the order. The government has published maps of the exempt areas. Importantly, developers wishing to rely on these new rules must apply to the local authority for a determination on whether approval is required in relation to contamination or flooding risks, or transport and highways impacts.

Changes have also been introduced that will allow high street premises to be used for new types of business without permission. Certain new retail businesses and other services will be able to open for up to tw years in buildings classified as A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, B1, D1 or D2.

The threshold for business change of use has been increased from 235 square metres to 500 square metres to provide greater opportunity for businesses to diversify. The regulations also increase the permitted development for extensions or alterations to office buildings from 25 per cent of gross floor space or 50 square metres up to 50 per cent or 100 square metres, until 30 May 2016.

Communities minster Eric Pickle's 9 May written statement to parliament has more information on the changes.

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