Residential conversion of commercial, business and service premises

Residential conversion of commercial, business and service premises

On 1 August 2021, a new permitted development right (PDR), Class MA, will take effect that will allow the residential change of use of commercial, business and service premises”, says Isabella Pyne of Acorn Rural Property Consultants.

Pyne explains, “Class MA will apply to buildings that fell within one or more of the following qualifying uses for a continuous period of at least 2 years prior to the date of making an application for prior approval: Class A1 (shops); Class A2 (financial and professional services); Class A3 (food and drink); Class B1 (business); Class D1(a) (non-residential institutions – medical or health services); Class D1(b) (non-residential institutions – crèche, day nursery or day centre); Class D2(e) (assembly and leisure – indoor and outdoor sports), other than use as an indoor swimming pool or skating rink, before 1 September 2020; and/or Class E (commercial, business and service) on or after 1 September 2020.

“Among other conditions, the PDR will be limited to a cumulative floor space of 1,500 square metres and buildings that have been vacant for a continuous period of at least 3 months immediately before the date of making an application for prior approval. Buildings and land within their curtilage covered by a SSSI, listed building, scheduled monument, safety hazard area, or military explosive storage area are excluded from the PDR”, adds Pyne.

“Other changes will result in the current Class M retail to residential, and Class O offices to residential PDRs ceasing to apply after 31 July 2021. The new PDR will partially replace Class M and replace Class O. It will also re-establish the residential conversion of light industrial premises under PDRs, which was previously allowed under the now expired Class PA right. However, unlike Class O and the former Class PA right, the new Class MA will not apply in areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs) or National Parks. Those that have office premises in an AONB or a National Park that would benefit from residential use should, therefore, take note that they must apply for prior approval on or before 31 July 2021 to utilise the current Class O right”, concludes Pyne.

For further information please contact Acorn Rural Property Consultants on 01884 212380

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