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What is happening in the world of planning?

Written by Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce | 25 Nov 2020

Abel Bunu, Senior Planner at Robinson & Hall, Land and Property Professionals, provides a planning update of key areas which may interest you.

1. Permitted Development Rights (PDR) for two storey extensions
New PDR for extensions above existing buildings came into force on 31st August 2020. The changes allow up to two extra storeys on an existing house or one extra storey on a bungalow. There are also extra storeys allowed on flats and some commercial buildings.

2. Part 20 Class ZA
Another amendment relates to the insertion of Class ZA which allows for the demolition of a single detached building that was in existence on 12th March 2020 and was used for office, research and development or industrial processes, or a free-standing purpose-built block of flats, and its replacement by an individual detached block of flats or a single detached house within the footprint of the old building.
The right provides permission for works for the construction of a new building that can be up to two storeys higher than the old building with a maximum overall height of 18 metres.
Important points to be aware of:
• The project is subject to a prior approval process.
• The number of flats created under Part 20 is not specified so it can be assumed that there is no limit until this is clarified by the Government.
• There is a whole raft of limitations and requirements, so it is highly advisable to seek professional advice first.

3. Article 4 Direction in the Central Business District area of Central Milton Keynes 
Milton Keynes Council intends to introduce an ‘Article 4 Direction’ in the town centre to remove Permitted Development Rights for the change of use from office to residential accommodation.

The 'Article 4 Direction', if confirmed, would take effect from 2nd July 2021, and would mean that anyone proposing to change an office to residential use would be required to apply for planning permission to the Council.

It is likely that the Council will be flooded with applications for office to residential conversion in order to beat this deadline.

4. "Permitted development" homes to meet space standards
On 30th September 2020, the Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick announced that new homes delivered through Permitted Development Rights will have to meet the Nationally Described Space Standard which start at 37m² of floorspace for a new one bed flat with a shower room or 39m² with a bathroom, ensuring proper living space for a single occupier.

No date has been announced regarding when these changes will come into force which means that there is a likelihood that local planning authorities could be inundated with applications for prior approval before the new legislation is introduced.

If you would like more information on the above or would like to find out how Robinson & Hall’s Planning & Development team can help you, please contact Abel Bunu on 01234 362891 or

Topics: Robinson and Hall

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