Update on residential change of use of light industrial buildings
Conversion of light industrial premises without the need to apply for full planning permission

Update on residential change of use of light industrial buildings

“Earlier this year we talked about a new class of permitted development (Class PA) which allows the residential change of use of light industrial buildings.  On 1 October 2017, Class PA came into force making it possible now to convert certain light industrial premises without the need to apply for full planning permission”, says Brian Dinnis of Acorn Rural Property Consultants.

Dinnis explains, “Class PA applies to buildings that were solely in light industrial use on 19 March 2014 or, if they were not in use on that date, when they were last in use.  Among other conditions, Class PA is limited to buildings with a gross floor space of 500 square metres or less.  Landowners wishing to use the right must apply to their planning authority to determine whether prior approval is required for transport and highways impacts; contamination risks; flood risks; and whether their proposal 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.  A sunset clause also means approvals must be obtained before 1 October 2020.”

“Landowners should take note that the right does not cover building operations and that planning permission will therefore still be required for any external works that materially affect the external appearance of the building”, advises Dinnis.

“Class PA offers the opportunity to convert suitable light industrial buildings to residential accommodation which may be particularly useful in the countryside where that option may have been discounted due to stricter planning policies on residential development in rural areas.  Class PA addresses this issue by making the residential change of use of qualifying buildings acceptable in principle regardless of whether or not it accords with local planning policy.  Unlike the Class Q permitted development rights for the conversion of agricultural buildings, Class PA is also available in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks”, adds Dinnis

For further information on permitted development rights and rural planning matters please contact Brian Dinnis at Acorn Rural Property Consultants on 01884 214052 or at briandinnis@acornrpc.co.uk.

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