"CLASS R" - PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT
The General Permitted Development (England) Order 2015, allows for change of use from an agricultural building (and land within its curtilage) to ‘flexible commercial use' - i.e. uses falling within various business uses such as:
Class A1 (shops)
Class A2 (financial and professional services)
Class A3 (restaurants and cafes)
Class B1 (business)
Class B8 (storage and / or distribution)
Class C1 (hotels)
Class D2 (assembly and leisure)
For these interesting and potentially lucrative rights to apply (as with Class Q) certain criteria must be met:
Rather than changing the use of the building to a specific use class - any completed "Class R" conversion shall be treated as having a sui generis use (i.e. no use specific class) - so other future, otherwise permitted, use class changes will not be able to be enjoyed (without a full planning application). Likewise certain additional permitted development activities may be restricted - and thus require planning consent (e.g. maintenance and refurbishment) - although this should not be unreasonably withheld.
Once 'deemed consent' has been obtained under Class R, a building (and land inside its curtilage) can subsequently change to any other use falling within the classes identified as ‘flexible business uses’. This means that a barn converted to offices, could subsequently be changed to a restaurant or cafe (or vice a versa) with little, if any, opportunity for obstruction by the planners.
Development under Class R is only permitted subject to details being provided to the Local Authority prior to commencement for their prior approval. It is worth considering this at design stage - to ensure that any conversion or alterations consider potential, lawful future uses from the outset.
There are two main opportunities for prospective Class R changes:
Buildings with <150sq m of existing floor space:
For building(s) where the cumulative floor space (to be converted) does not exceed 150m2 the local authority following need to be advised (in writing) as follows:-
For cumulative development of floor areas up to 150sq m, on buildings that fit the criteria, there is NO requirement to wait (from the date of submission) before development / use can start.
Buildings Exceeding 150sq m
Where the cumulative, existing floor area to be changed exceeds 150sq m (but does not exceed 500sq m), the developer must submit a 56 day notice to the Planning Authority for a determination as to whether or not prior approval is required in relation to:-
For buildings exceeding 150sq m, development under Class R cannot begin before written confirmation is received that either prior approval is - or is not required.
However, development / change of use can commence immediately if the LPA exceed the 56 day time limit required to make a determination.
Would-be developers need to bear in mind that although a 'use' can be changed under these permitted development rights, any alterations which would change the external appearance of the building are not (necessarily) permitted development - and thus a planning application may also be required before alterations can commence.
Get in touch today
Bondstones' specialist planning team are more than happy to take your call and provide impartial advice on any permitted development matters.
Alternatively please contact us and we will get in touch with you at a convenient time.
Call the planning team today:
0845 544 1990
Ian Firth - 0781 321 4535
Oliver Arthey - 07793 545 325
"Class R" in Summary
Alternatives to Class R?
You may find that you are in a position where Class R cannot be used (a number of reasons exist).
However - all is not lost! The advent of 2015 permitted rights changes and the generally positive effects of government policy on improving rural economic development means that a wide variety of options exist for building conversions and changes of use.
Bondstones specialise in 'change of use' and complex rural planning matters. This may include involvement in activities such as:
Most importantly - We love a challenge!