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Professional Town Planning Consultants Serving Leicestershire & Beyond

Change of use ‘opt out’ for Governments change to Permitted Development

Posted on by PlanRight

The government last month announced details of its much-anticipated forthcoming permitted development rights for change of use from B1(a) offices to C3 residential purposes, which will come into force in the spring.

In a letter to chief planning officers, the Department for Communities and Local Government’s chief planner, Steve Quartermain, said that councils could seek to opt out from the new rights, but added that exemptions would only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

He said that, in order to opt out, councils would need to show that the new rights would lead to “the loss of a nationally significant area of economic activity” or “substantial adverse economic consequences at the local authority level which are not offset by the positive benefits the new rights would bring”.

Councils have until 22 February to make a case for exemption.

Of the 30 local planning authorities that responded to a survey carried out by Planning, 15 (50 per cent) said they intended to apply for an exemption. Eight authorities (26.7 per cent) said they would not bid to opt out, while another seven (23.3 per cent) said they did not know if they would apply. The sample size represents about a tenth of the total number of local authorities in England.

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