Following the recent changes to permitted development rights for the change of office to residential; the Government has started the next stage in this review by announcing the proposed permitted development rights from changing retail to residential. The consultation document seeks the following:

• Shops (Class A1) and financial and professional services (Class A2) to change use to a dwelling house.

• Existing buildings used for agricultural purposes of up to 150 square metres to change to residential use.

• Retail uses (Class A1) to change to banks and building societies (Class A2).

• Premises used as offices, hotels, residential and non-residential institutions, and for leisure and assembly, to be able to change use to nurseries providing childcare.

• A building used for agricultural purposes of up to 500 square metres to be used as a new state funded school or a nursery providing childcare.

The NPPF says the town centre’s first policy recognises that residential development can play a significant role in ensuring the vitality of centres. Like the office to residential conversion a prior approval application will need to be submitted for the above proposals. Applications will need to show the impact on the design and character of the area, plus the potential impact that the loss of the retail unit will have on the economic health of the town centre.

Furthermore, the Government is also looking to allow redundant agricultural buildings to be converted to homes, schools or nurseries without planning permission under the permitted development rights. It is proposed that the right would:

• Allow up to 3 additional dwelling houses (which includes flats) to be converted on an agricultural unit which existed at the time that the intention to consult was announced in the Budget Statement of 20 March 2013.

• Have an upper threshold of 150 square metres for a single dwelling house;

• Enable the physical development necessary to allow for the conversion, and where appropriate the demolition and rebuild, of the property on the same footprint;

• Require local planning authority prior approval for siting and design to ensure physical development complies with local plan policies on design, materials and outlook;

• Require local planning authority prior approval for transport and highways impact, noise impact, contamination and flooding risks to ensure that change of use takes place only in sustainable locations;

• Apply to agricultural buildings constructed prior to announcement of the proposal to consult in the Budget Statement of 20 March 2013;

• Apply in article 1(5) land as set out in the General Permitted Development Order (i.e. conservation areas, National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Broads and World Heritage sites).

The documents are under consultation until 15th October and can be found here.


New Government Guidance on renting out driveways and parking spaces


A number of Local Authorities are demanding householders, whom rent out their parking spaces and driveways to gain extra income, apply for planning permission for a change of use as this is a commercial use. Councils are concerned that they are losing parking income and as a result want to crack down on. Eric Pickles announced this week that new guidance would be published letting households rent a single parking space without planning permission provided there is no public nuisance to neighbours.


Archway tower – largest proposal under the office to residential permitted development rights


This week a prior approval application was submitted to Islington Council, helping to transform to a 16-storey ‘Archway Tower’ into 118 flats. This would turn the 1960s block into ‘professionally-managed’ homes for rent. Currently, this is the largest office to residential proposal under the new permitted development rights released this year. Islington has so far received 26 prior approval applications although the council is looking to introduce an Article 4 direction to remove the permitted development which it is also currently undertaking a legal challenge with a number of other local authorities.

Consultation on Zero carbon housing targets

The Government wants to change how developers meet carbon reduction targets. Currently, developers reduce carbon levels on site, but the Government is considering other proposals such as:

• Undertaking 100 per cent of carbon abatement on site

• Meeting the remaining abatement themselves through off-site carbon abatement actions

• Contracting a third party private sector provider, or a local authority, to deliver the required carbon abatement.

• Making a payment to a national funder, which would in turn finance local funds that would deliver abatement on the housebuilder’s behalf.

This will aim to meet the Governments commitment for zero carbon emissions from all new homes as of 2016. The consultation can be found here.

New scheme for Cattrick town centre

This week Richmondshire District Council has granted planning permission for a mixed use town centre scheme. The scheme will have 7,312sqm of retail space, a hotel, cinema, 3,703 sqm of food and beverage outlets, car parking and a new access road. An outline application for a larger scheme on the site was approved in 2007, but the s106 agreement was never completed. The objections to the proposal included the impact on local retailers, while the application was supported by the existing and emerging planning policies.

Redevelopment plans for Telford Town Centre submitted

Telford was one of the new towns built in the 1960s. This week a proposal was submitted which includes an expansion of the shopping centre, public open space and a new public transport interchange. If the application is approved, work is proposed to start next year.


Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council – Deposit Local Development Plan will be open for consultation as of the 28th August.

Guildford Borough CouncilStrategic Housing Land Availability Assessment review (SHLAA) is open for all parties to submit possible development land to be considered as part of the emerging Local Plan.

Islington Borough Council – Cally Plan Draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) covering a section of Caledonian Road from the Regent’s Canal north to Pentonville Prison and the area to the west which connects Caledonian Road to York Way.

Islington Inclusive Design draft Supplementary Planning Document setting out aspects of design (minimum standards and common design elements etc.) is open for an early consultation, please email Clare Goodridge
for further details.
Doncaster Council – Local Development Framework, Sites and Policies Development Plan Document (DPD) is open for consultation.

Surrey Heath Borough Council – Community Infrastructure Levy, Draft Charging Schedule is open for consultation.
Woking Borough Council – Community Infrastructure Levy, Draft Charging Schedule is open for consultation.

City of London Corporation - Community Infrastructure Levy, Draft Charging Schedule is open for consultation.