Thus concluded an article from The Economist dated February 4th 2017 entitled “From pigsties to prime locations”. The article highlighted the now well known change in the planning regime which allows for the alteration of a range of agricultural structures to dwellings with the need for only ‘prior approval’ from the Local Planning Authority (LPA) rather than full planning permission.
The relaxation has proved fertile ground for redevelopment proposals. However, the devil is in the detail. The permitted development allowed is constrained as ever by a number of limitations which have been the subject of a number of appeal cases. In making alterations to buildings, Class Q of the GPDO only allows for building operations to be undertaken ‘to the extent necessary for the building to function as a dwelling house’.
Planning Policy Guidance emphasises that it is not the intention of permitted development rights to include the construction of new structural elements for the building. In practice therefore a structural survey will almost always be needed to demonstrate that the existing building is capable of accommodating the works proposed. The presentation of the case to the LPA will therefore be important to a successful application for prior approval.