The Government has announced changes to simplify the position on permitted development, which come into force on August 1.

The move is designed to dovetail with the new Use Classes for land and property, which came into effect in September 2020 partly in response to Covid-19.

The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended) essentially categorises different types of property and land into classes. Change between uses within the same class does not constitute development and therefore rarely requires planning permission.

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) identifies some permitted development rights allowing the change of use from one class to another, subject to conditions, limitations and/or a prior approval process.

Permitted development rights (PDRs) are rights to make certain changes to a building or land without the need to apply for planning permission. Before some PDRs can be used, the applicant must first obtain “prior approval” in relation to specified aspects of the development from the LPA.

Some PDRs cover building operations, such as home extensions, others cover change of use of buildings and/or land, and others cover building operations and a change of use.

Various changes to PDRs were made in 2020, many of them in response to Covid-19.

These include greater flexibility for town centre properties, making it easier to convert commercial premises for alternative uses such as housing.

To find out more please contact the experienced team at the Development Land and Planning Department of Greenslade Taylor Hunt on 01823 334466 or email