Permitted Development rights can be difficult to navigate particularly if time has lapsed and with various changes to the General Permitted Development Order (GDPO). Where Permitted Development rights evolve it’s not always clear what does and doesn’t fall under permitted development.

Cheffins has advised many clients on the best way forward and has been successful in various prior approvals. Importantly, in the event your property does not benefit from PD rights, there may be a different planning route. We recommend a preliminary discussion so we can advise you on your best options and the potential outcomes.

Permitted development rights

Permitted development rights are subject to conditions and limitations and in some cases, the permitted development right will require the local planning authority to approve certain matters (commonly referred to as “prior approval”).

Many permitted development rights are now allowed in Conversation Areas or in relation to listed buildings (or its curtilage), areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), National Parks, the Broads and World Heritage Sites.

Permitted development rights - change of use

Some changes of use of land and buildings can be made under permitted development. Examples of changes of use include:

  • Agricultural buildings to dwellings – Also known as Class Q Barn Conversions which allows the change of use of a barn to up to five dwellings and requires prior approval from the local authority. Class Q is subject to certain criteria and limitations, one such criteria is that the building must have been in agricultural use on, or at some date before, 20 March 2013.
  • Agricultural building to flexible commercial use – Also known as Class R and allows for change of use from an agricultural building (as well as land within its curtilage) to “flexible commercial use”. Like “Class Q”, there are certain criteria to be met including, but not limited to,  restrictions on the total cumulative floor area of the existing building(s) which must not exceed 500m2.
  • Offices to dwellings – Also known as Class O and allows for the conversion of offices to any number of dwellings subject to limitations.
  • Retail units to dwellings – Also known as Class M and in addition to retail, allows takeaways and specified sui generis uses to be changed to dwellings subject to limitations and certain criteria being met.

Permitted development technical guidance

As mentioned above, there are various criteria to be met and limitations imposed by Permitted Development. Every Permitted Development is unique and we can provide advice and technical guidance on permitted development, prior approval and if needed, other planning routes.

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Our experts
Adam Tuck BSc (Hons) MRICS CPDS
Planning & Development
Edward Clarke BSc (Hons) MSc
Planning & Development
Ruth Gunton BA (Hons) MSc MRTPI
Planning & Development
Emma Thompson BA (Hons) MSc MRTPI
Senior Planner
Planning & Development
Vaughan Bryan BA (Hons), MPhil (Cantab)
Graduate Planner
Planning & Development