“Following a statement by the Government in June that the implementation period for planning permissions that have an expiry date between the start of the lockdown and the end of this year will be extended to 1 April 2021, the Prime Minister has also announced reforms to the planning system aimed at making it easier to build better homes where people want to live,” says Richard Sanders of Acorn Rural Property Consultants.
Sanders explains, “the Government has said that new regulations will give greater freedom to create new homes from the regeneration of vacant and redundant buildings and for buildings and land in town centres to change use without planning permission. The changes will include allowing:
• more flexible use of commercial spaces, so that they can be repurposed to provide different services without requiring a planning application (for example, from retail to a café or an office).
• a wider range of commercial buildings to change to residential use without the need for a planning application.
• rebuilding vacant and redundant residential and commercial buildings to provide homes without the need for a normal planning application.
The measures are planned to come into effect by September through changes to the law”.
“Consideration has also been given to the design and quality of development. On 01 August 2020, the provision of adequate natural light in all habitable rooms will become a new prior approval matter for the Class Q permitted development right that allows the residential change of use of agricultural buildings. Local planning authorities must refuse prior approval if adequate natural light is not provided in all habitable rooms. “Habitable rooms” means any rooms used or intended to be used for sleeping or living which are not solely used for cooking purposes, but do not include bath or toilet facilities, service rooms, corridors, laundry rooms, hallways or utility rooms. Applications for prior approval will also need to be accompanied by a floor plan indicating the dimensions and proposed use of each room, the position and dimensions of windows, doors and walls, and the elevations of the dwellinghouses”, adds Sanders.
For further information on the emerging reforms and changes to Class Q, please contact Acorn Rural Property Consultants on 01884 212380 or via our website www.acornrpc.co.uk