Permitted development and prior approval: Update 16 June 2016

Section 152 gives the secretary of state power to make further provision for operational development under the General Permitted Development Order. In the first instance, this provision is expected to facilitate the government's proposed permitted development right to demolish offices and replace them with new-build homes.

Under existing law, local planning authorities can only take design or external appearance into account in considering whether to grant prior approval for permitted development involving building operations. This provision will allow councils to consider a broader range, such as the impact of building operations on neighbours' amenity. It allows ministers "to set out in secondary legislation a broader range of specific conditions where permitted development rights allow for building operations".

Commencement: Most of this section came into effect on 12 May, but will have no effect until secondary legislation is issued.

Comment: Planning lawyer and blogger Martin Goodall said that this provision need not be confined to office-to-residential conversions under class O, part 3, schedule 2 of the General Permitted Development Order 2015: "It could be amended to require prior approval of additional matters where other operational development is permitted by various parts and classes of schedule 2."

More on this topic:
Regulations silent on office-to-residential demolition option

Peers bid to give councils greater powers to resist office-to-resi conversions