Permitted Development Rights


No planning permission? No problem

PDR allows qualifying commercial units to be converted to residential use

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The developer is not required to apply for planning permission

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This includes the right to demolish the existing buildings on site to make room

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The Government’s Permitted Development Right (PDR) scheme has been made permanent. It was originally a temporary measure which allowed for qualifying commercial units to be converted to residential use without the developer being required to apply for planning permission.

The scheme has been successful in converting redundant commercial stock to increase housing availability in sought after locations throughout the UK since 2013.

What is permitted development?

Commercial to residential conversions were seen by the government as an encouraging way to increase the amount of housing in areas of high demand throughout the UK.

In 2013 the right to convert commercial office spaces, amongst others into residential dwellings without planning application was approved under the Permitted Development scheme which was originally due to lapse in May 2016.

The development industry have utilised the scheme well and a Government statement highlights that between April 2014 and June 2015 just shy of 4,000 conversions were given the go ahead.

What’s new?

Due to the popularity and level of developer uptake, the scheme will now be extended to make it a permanent right.

As well as the continuation of the scheme, it has also be adapted to include the right to demolish the existing buildings on site to make room for purpose built residential units. This will allow the land to be used to its full potential and not be restricted by the footprint and structure of the existing commercial building.

In addition to the right to convert to residential dwellings, the scheme also allows the conversion from office use to light industrial use (b1a) such as research and development for a product that will not affect local residential units with noise, smell, vibration etc.

Considerations for conversion suitability

Include but are not limited to:

  • Location – does the area support residential living such as the proximity of local shops and amenities?
  • Security – will the area be suitable outside the office hours of nearby commercial businesses?
  • Is there sufficient parking?
  • Would the development be affected by after-hours deliveries etc.?
  • Are there any commercial eye sores nearby?

Please see this article for a list of current exemptions.

As a multi-disciplined firm, specialisms of our Chartered Surveyors include development viability, valuation, development monitoring, contract administration and building project management, meaning we can help developers maximise opportunities available to them under the permitted development rights act.

Get in touch on 01628 771221 or [email protected] for more information.