Update on Permitted Development Rights

Change of use powers amended for office and light industrial buildings

An amendment to the General Permitted Development Order 2015 will come into force on 6 April 2016, which makes permanent the existing ability to change the use of office building to dwellings, with those projects now having to be completed within three years of their prior approval date. However, any new schemes will now also need to consider the potential impact on future occupiers of noise from other commercial premises around office buildings proposed for change of use. 

The emerging legislation introduces new powers which allow for the change of use of light industrial (B1) buildings to dwellings, althougth it will not be possible to make the requisite prior notification application to local authorities under the new legislation until 1 October 2017 and projects will, under the current wording, need to be completed before 30 September 2020.

Qualifying criteria include that buildings will need to be 500sqm or less in size and have been in sole use for light industrial purposes as of 19 March 2014 (or when last in use). Local authorities will then have the ability to assess transport and highways impacts, contamination and flood risk. In addition, if schemes are within areas considered important for the provision of industrial services then local authorities will be able to consider whether the change of use would be detrimental to the sustainability of the industrial services within that area. 

For more information, or to discuss any potential projects which might benefits from those new permitted development rights, please contact Dave Harvey, 01622 776226


For more information call 01622 776226 or email:

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