The government has been called on by a group of MPs to carry out a full review of the role of permitted development rights within the planning system for residential development. In doing so, they are calling for a halt in the introduction of the new right which allows high street premises to be converted to residential use without the need for planning permission.
During the coronavirus pandemic the use of permitted development has doubled, despite concerns over their use and the quality of build that is produced, something that was highlighted in government-commissioned report. This is something Sworders have seen evidence of, with a large number of applications under Permitted Development appearing on planning websites across the country, in particular for the change of use under Class Q of the legislation for conversion of agricultural buildings to residential dwellings.
Clive Betts, chair of the committee has said: “The government should pause any further extensions of permitted development rights for residential change of use and undertake a review of the role of such PDRs in the wider planning system, spelling out how this can be consistent with its proposed reforms as set out in last year’s Planning White Paper.
“It’s also crucial the PDR regime ensures local councils are be able to protect certain areas from permitted developments rights where they have legitimate concerns about the impact on town centres, high streets and commercial centres.”
Other councilors have raised their concerns, stating that the new rights should be removed as they could have a negative effect on our high streets. The opinions are highlighting the need for the country to deliver homes through a locally-led planning system in areas where they will be supported by appropriate infrastructure, so that housing can be provided to meet the needs of local communities while giving those communities the opportunity to “shape and define” the areas in which they live.