1 May 2019

SHW Planning Opinions Matter: What to make of proposed Permitted Development extensions?


During the autumn budget the Government announced new planning reforms to further extend Permitted Development Rights, ultimately aimed to boost housing delivery and support the high street. Over the last three years permitted development rights have provided 46,000 homes representing approximately 20% of the actual net delivery of UK homes.

The fine detail of the proposals are too involved for inclusion here, but in essence the intention is to:

  • Amend Retail class use to allow certain types of premises to change to residential use or offices
  • Encourage upwards extension of commercial and retail buildings to deliver additional homes
  • Allow greater flexibility regarding high street diversity and incorporate ancillary uses without undermining the amenity of the area
  • Extend time limits for community use change from two to three years


There are significant implications for potential housing delivery wrapped up in these reforms. Research suggests that 40,000 new units could be built in Central London zones 1 & 2 by simply building upwards.


SHW’s Michael Green said: “There are potential positive and negative outcomes to these reforms, but overall it is encouraging that common sense seems to be winning the day as far as adapting the high street to changing behaviours and requirements over time. If you require advice in order to benefit from the proposed changes if / when they become law please seek expert advice.”


Michael Green

020 8662 2736

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Michael Green


Graduate Planner

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