Commercial Property

Amendments to the General Permitted Development Order

From 5th March 2024, legislative changes will come in force making amendments to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2021.

02 Apr 2024

Team name
Callum Hall

Callum Hall

The amendments will be known as the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2024 (“the Order”).

The Order will affect those individuals/developers who intend to use Class MA of the General Permitted Development Order to convert commercial properties falling within class E (commercial, business and service) to residential dwellings.

Whilst it will still be necessary to apply to the Local Authority (“LA”) for prior approval on certain developments, the Order will remove the previous requirements for the property to be vacant for three months before seeking prior approval from the LA for the change of use.

The Order will also remove the maximum size limit of a conversion which pre the Order was limited to 1,500 sq metres. Many developments with a floor space exceeding 1,500 sq metres were often only partly converted with the remaining part being left either undeveloped or vacant commercial space. The Order will allow those partially converted commercial spaces to be fully converted to residential.

The UK Government has estimated that between 2015/16 and 2022/23, 102,830 new homes were delivered through change-of-use permitted development rights which made up around 6% of the net additional homes delivered in this time frame.  The UK Government hopes that the changes made by the Order will increase the supply of residential properties from recently converted, unused commercial spaces.

M&P Commentary

Callum Hall, a specialist in Commercial Property law, said:

“The changes made by the Order will become effective for applications submitted on or after 5th March 2024. Any application submitted prior to 5th March 2024 will be covered by the previous regulations. There are exclusions and exceptions which apply to the Order, it is therefore advisable to seek legal and planning advice prior to utilising class MA to convert commercial properties to residential dwellings.”


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