Plans to allow light industrial and warehouse buildings, launderettes, amusement arcades, casinos and nightclubs to convert to residential use without the need for planning permission are included in a government consultation published today
The proposals were unveiled today by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in a wide-ranging technical consultation on planning, which also includes plans to put controversial rules allowing offices to convert to homes without planning permission on a permanent footing.
The document says that the government proposes to introduce a new permitted development right to allow light industrial buildings (B1(c)) and storage and distribution buildings (B8) to change to residential use.
It also proposes that a new permitted development right is introduced to allow “launderettes, amusement arcades/centres, casinos and nightclubs” to change to residential use.
In addition, the consultation contains proposals to broaden the shops (A1) use class to incorporate the majority of uses currently within the financial and professional services (A2) use class. “It is proposed that the Use Class Order will be revised in respect of use classes A1 and A2, and that the names of both use classes revised to better reflect their new scope”.
According to the consultation, the move would expand the flexibility for businesses to move between premises such as a shop to what would have been an A2 use such as an estate agent or employment agency without the need for a planning application.
The consultation contains plans to require a planning application for any change of use to a betting shop or a pay day loan shop. It says that, under the plans, betting shops and pay day loan shops would not form part of the wider A1 retail use class, but would remain within the A2 use class.
The government would make changes to the General Permitted Development Order 1995 to remove the existing permitted development rights to the A2 use class, thereby requiring a planning application for a change of use to a betting shop or pay day loan shop, it says.
Other proposed permitted development changes include:
– new permitted development rights for A1 and A2 premises and launderettes, amusement arcades, casinos and nightclubs to change use to restaurants and cafes
– new permitted development rights for A1 and A2 uses, launderettes, amusement arcades and nightclubs to change use to assembly and leisure (D2)
– a new permitted development right an ancillary building within the curtilage of an existing shop
– a new permitted development right to extend loading bays for existing shops
– a new permitted development right for commercial film and television production
– a permitted development right for the installation of solar PV up to 1MW on the roof of non-domestic buildings
– permitted development rights allowing larger extensions for shops, financial and professional services, offices, industrial and warehouse buildings to be made permanent
– a new permitted development right for waste management facilities to replace buildings, equipment and machinery
(source: planning resource 31st July 2014)