The G15 responds to permitted development consultation

  • 3 June 2021

The G15 welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Government's Technical Consultation on the Consequential Changes to the Permitted Development Rights.

The G15 agrees that the proposed technical amendments will ensure consistency throughout the reviewed Use Class Order, reflecting the recent rearrangement of use classes, as of September 2020.

We welcome the Government’s attempt to provide greater flexibility within the Commercial, Business and Services use class; it will enable urban spaces to quickly adapt to changing local conditions and provide the right mix of housing, amenities, facilities and services a community needs. We also agree with the introduction of measures aimed at preserving the protections provided to valuable community assets, such as live music venues, theatres and cinemas.

With regards to conversions to residential, although we do support mechanisms to increase the supply of housing and agree that housing has a role to play in reimagining our town centres in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, we as well take this opportunity to reiterate some of our concerns in relation to conversions through the permitted development rights (PDRs) route:

  • Permitted development rights are currently providing a route for developers to convert commercial buildings to residential without requiring a contribution to affordable housing. It is imperative that permitted development rights (PDRs) contribute towards affordable housing and local infrastructure, either through Section 106 or cash-in-lieu payments to local authorities.
  • A strong emphasis on the quality of conversions will be essential in order to deliver homes which are fit for purpose and meet servicing standards.
  • The implementation of changes of use to residential should take regard of the long-term impact of conversions on the provision of a wider range of essential community facilities – including GP practices – as well as considerations on the role played by mixed-use neighbourhoods in preserving the dynamism of local economies.’
View our full response