Housing Secretary announcement

Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference on 30th September 2019, the Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced a future reform and amendments to the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) adding to the recent changes introduced in May 2019. 

This is a summary of the main changes introduced by the upcoming revision to the GPDO:

1.Upwards extensions

As mentioned in our previous blog post on the New Permitted Development Rights, the long awaited new permitted development right for upwards extensions will come into force in January 2020, as announced by the Housing Secretary. This new right will allow the addition of up to two storeys to existing blocks of flats initially. This new PD right will later be extended to detached dwellings to allow them to extend upwards.

Developments are, however, likely to still be assessed by Local Planning Authorities to ensure the “good design” of the extensions.  

2.Construction of new dwellings

The Housing Secretary also confirmed the creation of a new permitted development right to allow commercial building to be demolished. Robert Jenrick explained that the new right would allow developers to “purchase properties such as a neglected sixties or seventies office building, demolish it and then rebuild it as housing”. 

As written in our previous post, if introduced, it would facilitate the creation of dwellings and essentially replace the current strategy of first using the property’s permitted development rights to convert it to residential, and then apply for full planning permission to demolish the existing structure and build new dwellings.

3.National “Design Guide”

Lastly, the Housing Secretary announced a national design guide which will be incorporated into an updated National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Local Authorities will also be required to publish their own design guide to make sure development respects the local character and heritage.

A Written Ministerial Statement outlining the principles and how the guide will be used is to be published in the coming weeks.


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