Residential change of use of light industrial buildings

Residential change of use of light industrial buildings

On 1 October 2017, a new class of permitted development (Class PA) will come into force that will allow the residential change of use of light industrial buildings”, says Brian Dinnis of Acorn Rural Property Consultants.

Dinnis explains, “Class PA will apply to buildings that were solely in light industrial use on 19 March 2014 or, in the case of a building which was in use before that date but was not in use on that date, when it was last in use.  Among other conditions, the change of use will also be limited to buildings with a gross floor space of 500 square metres of less.

As with permitted development rights that allow agricultural and office conversions to residential, Class PA will be subject to a prior approval process that means if an applicant wishes to convert an eligible building then they first need to notify their local planning authority and ask if prior approval is required.  The authority must then decide within 56 days if prior approval is required and, if it is, decide whether it should be granted.  In this regard, the issues for determination will be limited to (i) transport and highways impacts of the development, (ii) contamination risks in relation to the building, (iii) flooding risks in relation to the building and (iv) whether the introduction of, or an increase in, a residential use of premises in the area would have an adverse impact on the sustainability of the provision of industrial services or storage or distribution services or a mix of those services.”

“Over the last few years a wide range of permitted development rights have been introduced that grant planning consent for certain types of development without the need to obtain express planning permission.  Some of these rights have made it considerably easier for farmers looking to diversify businesses or receive commercial rents and enhance the value of property without facing the complexity, time and cost of going through the full planning process.  Those that have qualifying light industrial buildings that would benefit from residential use should, however, take note that the opportunity to get the go ahead under Class PA will only be available for a limited period because of a sunset clause that means Class PA approvals must be obtained before 1 October 2020,” adds Dinnis.

For further information on permitted development rights and rural planning matters please contact Brian Dinnis at Acorn Rural Property Consultants on 01278 772655 or at  Brian is always pleased to speak to existing or new clients alike, and does not charge for having a chat on the telephone.

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