Changes to Permitted Development - 25 May 2019

23rd May 2019
By Daniel Taylor

The Government has issued amendments to the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO), the Statutory Instrument that allows certain works and operations to be carried out without the need for obtaining planning permission. These changes come into effect on 25th May 2019 and will mainly impact developments for house extensions, changes of use and public call boxes. A summary of the changes are provided below.

Under Prior Approval the GPDO currently allows for home owners to extend their house to the rear by up to 8m in length in the case of a detached house and up to 6m in length in the case of any other house, where not located in a conservation area or other designated area (Class A, Part 1, Schedule 2). When introduced into the GPDO these extensions were allowed for a temporary period with all works having to be completed by the end date of 30th May 2019. This end date has now been removed as has any mention to an end date, along with the requirement to notify the Council of the completion. This therefore makes these larger housing extensions under prior approval permanent within the GPDO.

Further flexibility has been given to the installation of electrical upstand for recharging vehicles (Class E, Part 2, Schedule 2) with a maximum height of 1.6m introduced for proposals within the curtilage of a dwelling house or block of flats and a maximum height of 2.3m in any other case. Restrictions in regard to the distance from the highway and heritage assets and the quantum remain unaltered.

Further flexibility has also been offered to changes of use (Part 3, Schedule 2) within the GPDO:

• A new Class of Permitted Development has been added - Class JA entitled retail, takeaway, betting office, pay day loan shop and laundrette uses to offices (use class B1(a)). To qualify for this new class of permitted development, premises need to be in their pre-existing use on 29 October 2018 with no more than 500sqm of floorspace changing use. A prior approval application is required to assess impacts of the proposed change of use in respect to transport and highways, noise from neighbouring commercial and retail premises, and on whether there remains “adequate provision of services” in the area, particularly where the site is located within a shopping area, to ensure the sustainability of that shopping area.

• Class M (retail, betting or pay day load shop to residential) now includes A5 takeaways as part of the pre-existing uses that can be changed to residential. As with Class JA above an impact assessment is required to assess that there is an adequate provision of existing services in the area.

• Class Q (agricultural buildings to dwelling houses) limits the floor space of any dwelling house to no more than 465sqm.

In regard to temporary buildings and uses (Part 4, Schedule 2), Class D, which allows shops, financial, cafes, takeaways, pubs etc. to change to a temporary flexible use, has been expanded to allow certain D1 uses to change for a temporary period. These new uses include the provision of any medical or health services except the use of premises attached to the residence of the consultant or practitioner, the display of works of art (otherwise than for sale or hire), museum, public library or public reading room, or public hall or exhibition hall. In addition the period during which the premises can operate under another use has been extended from 2 years to 3 years.

In regard to extensions and alterations to office buildings and hard surfaces for office buildings (Classes F and G, Part 7, Schedule 2), the Order clarifies that development is not permitted if the building is in use as an officer as permitted by Class JA mentioned above.

One of the biggest areas of change to the Order is the Government’s response to applications for telephone boxes and the adverts displayed on them. Prior Approval Applications for telephone boxes that appear to be proposed purely for the display of an advert has been a source of frustration for many local authorities, with the refusal of such applications leading to subsequent appeals by the telecommunications operators and advertising companies. The Government’s response has been to exclude the installation, alteration or replacement of public call boxes from Class A, Part 16 (electronic communications code operators) of Schedule 2 of the order.

The related part of the Control of Advertisements Regulations (2007) has also been amended and removes the whole of Class 16 from Part 1 of Schedule 3, which gave deemed consent to advertisements displayed on telephone kiosks. Therefore works regarding telephone kiosks now require planning permission, and the display of any advertisements on them now requires Advertisement Consent. A public call box that displays an advert before 25th May 2019 may continue to be used for that purpose.

Finally, there are minor updates throughout to ensure reference is made to the February 2019 version of the NPPF in place of the original (2012) version.

If you would like to know more about these changes and the potential implications for development proposals please get in touch with Daniel Taylor on 0203 268 2432 or via email at

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