Planning Update: Class ZA

Vacant industrial or office building? Here’s how to redevelop it for housing without needing a full planning permission…

Over the last few years, DHA has helped landowners to increase land value by converting underused buildings to residential dwellings using permitted development rights.

In particular we have helped: 

  • Agricultural landowners to convert old farm buildings into houses using Class Q; and 
  • Owners of outdated office buildings to create new apartment blocks using Class O. 

Whilst these permitted development rights have allowed new homes to be created by converting existing buildings, the Government has now gone further by introducing new permitted development rights (a new “Class ZA”) to allow buildings to be demolished and replaced with new buildings in certain circumstances, without requiring a full planning application.  

The new rights allow redundant existing light industrial buildings, workshops and offices to be demolished with new residential buildings which can be up to two storeys higher than the existing building, so long as they are within the same footprint. An application for “prior approval” will still need to be made to the Council, but unlike a full planning application, the Council can only consider certain specific technical matters. Many of these will still require a range of technical reports to be submitted, but DHA can guide you through what is required for your scheme.  

The permitted development rights don’t apply to every building – in particular those in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Conservation Areas are excluded, as are Listed Buildings – but DHA would be happy to advise on whether Class ZA would be a good solution for your site.  

For more information call 01622776226 or email:

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