Out for consultation - permitted development

By Shelley Jones | 14.03.24

The government continues to consult on various changes to the planning system aimed at making the planning system more effective and responsive.

Permitted development rights

In their technical guidance for householders, The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government describe permitted development as allowing ‘householders to improve and extend their homes without the need to apply for planning permission where that would be out of proportion with the impact of works carried out’.

Following a consultation on permitted development rights in September 2023, which included the expansion of Class Q into National Landscapes (AONB), a further open consultation is seeking views on some additional proposed changes which have the potential to open-up development of residential properties, including those located in protected landscapes.

Extending the residential curtilage

One of the proposed changes, if adopted, will make it easier for homeowners to extend properties without the need for planning permission. The proposal is to allow a greater area of the existing curtilage – the enclosed space of ground and buildings immediately surrounding a property, to be taken up by extensions and the development of outbuildings. Currently, for residential properties the amount of development allowed under permitted development rights is limited to 50% of the curtilage.

Referred to as ‘extended’ permitted development rights, if approved, these would allow for larger house extensions including ‘wraparound extensions’ to be developed more easily.

In addition, removing a limit on the volume of a loft that can be converted, and allowing greater flexibility on the choice of exterior materials for extensions is being proposed as part of the consultation.

Outbuildings in protected landscapes

The consultation is also seeking views on existing development restrictions placed on properties located in protected landscapes. Whether domestic outbuildings can be erected under permitted development rights is more restricted if a property is situated in a protected landscape, for example a national landscape (AONB) or national park.

If such restrictions were removed, it would potentially free up development for many living in rural areas. Theoretically enabling greater flexibility and more innovative design solutions for home improvement schemes, while avoiding the need for planning permission.

Views on changes to the ‘demolish and rebuild’ rights introduced in 2020 are also being sought.

An accelerated planning system

Another open consultation called ‘an accelerated planning system’ is also underway. This proposes a raft of new measures to help improve the planning system. It is aimed at providing more certainty for applicants, and bringing forward much needed housing, commercial and infrastructure development at a greater pace.

What’s included?

The consultation seeks views on:

  • Offering new application routes for some major planning applications in exchange for payment of a higher fee, with accelerated decision dates of ten weeks and fee refunds wherever such dates are not met.
  • Changes to extensions of time agreements, including a new performance measure for speed of decision-making against statutory time limits and an end to the use of extension of time agreements for householder applications, and repeat agreements for the same application for other types of application.
  • Expansion of the current simplified householder and minor commercial appeal service for more written representation appeals. Appeals would be determined on the original planning application submitted, with no scope for submitting additional evidence or amending proposals at the appeal stage.
  • Broadening the ability to vary a planning permission through new section ‘73B applications’ and on the treatment of overlapping planning permissions.

Guidance and support

Rural Solutions continues to monitor and respond to such government consultations and consider the opportunities such changes, if implemented, have for our clients’ planning strategies.

If you require help unravelling the planning system or would like to find out more about permitted development rights in relation to rural land and property, please give us a call on 01756 797501 or email info@ruralsolutions.co.uk.



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