An amendment to the General Permitted Development Order which came into effect on 30th May 2013 gives planning permission for the change of use of a building from an office to a dwelling.
To benefit from this, an office must not be used for financial or professional services provided principally to visiting members of the public unless it is used for health or medical services.
“Dwelling” for this purpose does not include a house in multiple occupation.
The amendment applies only to England and then not universally. Some parts of London and its boroughs and of Manchester, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire, Kent and Hampshire do not benefit. Listed buildings, scheduled monuments, areas identified by the Health and Safety Executive as “safety hazard areas” and areas licensed by the Secretary of State for Defence as military explosives storage areas do not benefit.
The building has to be in the office use immediately before 30th May 2013 or, if it is not then in use, when it was last used.
To benefit from the permission, the change of use has to take place no later than 30th May 2016.
Before making the change of use, you must apply to the local planning authority for a determination as to whether their prior approval will be required as to contamination and flooding risks on the site and transport and highway impacts. The application must be accompanied by a description of the change of use, a plan showing the site, your contact address and any fee that may be payable. The authority may require you to give further information about the risks and impacts. The authority is required to consult specified relevant bodies, display a site notice and notify adjoining owners or occupiers. The change of use cannot take place until the planning authority gives written notice either that they give their approval or that their approval is not required. However, if 56 days pass after their receipt of the application without the authority notifying you whether their approval is given or refused, the change of use can take place without it. The permission covers, with the building, any curtilage that it may have.
This note is for general guidance only. Before application to any particular case the legislation should be checked and, as necessary, professional advice should be sought.
These notes are for general information only. They do not cover every aspect of the subject. They do not cover all of the other subjects that may bear on the decision to act. Professional advice should be taken in every case. La Ronde Wright Ltd does not give any warranty for reliance upon these notes. Please contact us if you would like to discuss how this advice affects you.
© La Ronde Wright Ltd