The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (GPDO) provides "up front" deemed planning permission for a series of development proposals which do not require express planning applications. These are generally minor in scale, with little impact on the neighbouring area.

On 7 May 2013, the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2013 (the Order) was made, as another part of the Government's push to make the planning system in England more flexible. It came into force yesterday, 30 May 2013.

Home extensions

By the Order, single storey rear extensions to houses are allowed to be larger than was previously permitted, although there is a prior notification procedure under which the developer must notify the Council of the proposals before commencing development. Neighbours must also be notified and, if there are objections, the Council's approval must be obtained before the development may go ahead. This change to the GPDO does not apply in a conservation area, an area of outstanding natural beauty, and other such areas. It is a temporary change, and will apply only until 30 May 2016. The government will consider an extension to the three year period closer to its expiry date.

Changes of use

The Order also introduces some more changes of use which are permitted without express application:

  • Change from Use Class B1(a) (offices) to one or more dwelling houses;
  • Change from Use Classes B1 (business), C1 (hotel), C2/C2A (residential/secure institution) and D2 (assembly and leisure) to use as a state funded school;
  • Change which reverses the change to a state funded school, to revert to the previous use;
  • Change of use from an agricultural use to a flexible use falling within Use Classes A1 (retail), A2 (financial and professional) A3 (restaurants), B1, B8 (storage), C1, or D2;
  • Temporary change of use to use as a state funded school for a single academic year; and
  • Temporary change of use (up to 2 years) from any use within A1, A2, A3, A4 (drinking establishment), A5 (hot food takeaway), B1, D1 and D2 to a flexible use within wither A1, A2, A3, or B1.

All of these changes of use are subject to conditions and restrictions which vary in each case. Some of them are also time limited, until 2016 or 2018. For precise details, please contact our planning experts.