Planning & Environment

An invitation to speak at a conference seemed a good opportunity to catch up on the new permitted development rights in England. I knew there had been a lot of changes, and more in the pipeline, but I didn’t realise how complicated it all is.

Here’s a flavour:

  • additional PD rights to change to residential, banks/ building societies, and child care.
  • some new PD rights only available for a limited time, presumably in the expectation that they will not be necessary once the economy/ property market improves.
  • agricultural buildings – more flexible use

Is there any appetite to introduce similar, or different, changes in Scotland? For example, to assist regeneration of town centres?

As well as removing “red tape”, PD rights also give certainty for landowners, removing the inherent risk that a planning application will be refused. But that certainty comes at a price – the planning authority lose the opportunity to control the development, either through refusing permission or by imposing conditions. That’s why changing PD rights is not necessarily straightforward.

Neil Collar