PD rights extended to allow demolition for new housing

01 September 2020

A new permitted development (PD) right allowing demolition for new housing was brought into force on 31st August 2020, subject of course to the necessary prior approval from the LPA. With the aim of stimulating the regeneration of towns and cities and delivering homes more easily, the new PD right applies to vacant and redundant free-standing buildings that fall under the current B1 Use Classes Order and purpose-built residential blocks.

There are a number of conditions attached to this legislation, which can be summarised as follows;

  • The new PD right only applies to properties that have been vacant for 6 months or more prior to the date of prior approval.
  • The building the subject of the demolition must have been built before 1st Jan 1990.
  • The newly built scheme will be restricted to the footprint of the existing structure and must not exceed 1,000 sqm. It can, however, be up to seven metres higher to accommodate up to two additional residential storeys, within a final overall maximum height of 18m.
  • The right does not allow for demolition without subsequent construction of a new residential building, nor for the construction of a new residential building on previously cleared land.
  • Taken together, the demolition and replacement build must be completed within three years of the date of the grant of prior approval.
  • Buildings included within National Parks, Conservation Areas, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, or World Heritage Sites, or if the building is a listed building or scheduled monument or within the curtilage of one cannot benefit from this PD right.
  • The developer must prepare a construction management plan, which include details on how it intends to minimise adverse impacts on neighbouring premises and all applications must include a written statement of heritage and archaeological considerations.
  • Developments must comply with building regulations.

As above, prior approval is required, and the following thirteen matters will be applicable;

  1. Transport and highway impacts of the development
  2. Contamination risks in relation to the new building
  3. Flooding risks in relation to the new building
  4. The design of the new building
  5. The external appearance of the new building
  6. The provision of adequate natural light in all habitable rooms of each new dwellinghouse in or comprising the new building
  7. The impact of the development on the amenity of the new building an of neighbouring premises, including overlooking, privacy and light
  8. Impacts of noise from any commercial premises on the intended occupiers of the new dwellinghouses
  9. The impact on businesses and new residents of the development’s introduction of, or increase in residential use in the area in which the development is to take place.
  10. The impact of the development on heritage and archaeology
  11. The method of demolition of the old building
  12. The proposed landscaping
  13. Impact of the proposal on air traffic.

This legislation has brought forward one of the objectives identified by the Government in the ‘Planning for the Future’ document issued last March which was reinforced by the Prime Minister’s ‘build build build’ speech in June. It is debateable as to whether there will be a significant take up; the above prior approval matters appear to replicate a number of the considerations which are addressed for consideration of a planning application, the information required in terms of drawings and documents will also reflect those required by an application and the fee is approximately two thirds of a planning application fee.