The Government has decided to extend permitted development rights by a further three years to enable owners to press on with conversion works on private homes and agricultural buildings along with storage and distribution units.
PDR had originally been due to expire in May 2016.
This meant conversion works would have had to be completed and the units occupied by that date - otherwise the property would not benefit from PDR.
We are still waiting for clarification on whether PDR relating to office-resi conversions will also be extended.
The new changes, due to come in to force on April 15, include a three-year extension of the date for the expiry of the existing time-limited PDR for significant home extensions and also provide further clarification on the conversion of agricultural buildings into homes.
The new guidance notes allow for agricultural buildings to be converted to flexible, educational or residential use and gives a great deal more detail on exactly what will and won’t be allowed.
This can’t come soon enough for property owners as half of the agricultural-resi conversions put before councils last year under PDR were rejected.
This outcome is clearly not what the Government intended when it loosened the regulatory requirements in the first place.
A spokesman for Eric Pickles’ office said it is not yet certain whether office-to-residential permitted development rights will be extended or not.
Critics have claimed relaxing PDR had triggered unintended and damaging consequences in some locations.
The office-to-resi boom has had unintended consequences in several locations – going way beyond simply reducing levels of second or third rate office stock.