Hello everyone,

Just to remind you that the new temporary Industrial to Residential Permitted Development Rights came into effect on the 1 October 2017.

As we all know, Permitted Development Rights are detailed in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015. This allows making certain changes to a building without the need to apply for a planning permission.  These rules have now been extended within Part 3, Schedule 2 to also cover the conversion of B1 light industrial buildings to residential. This is referred to within the order as Class PA.

These rights will be for a temporary period of up to three years and developments must be determined by or expired without determination by 30 September 2020. However, the change of use itself will be permanent.

The change of use relates only to the change of use and not external alterations and will be restricted to buildings with an existing gross floor space of no more than 500 square meters. Prior approval applications need to be supported with assessments relating to transport impacts, contamination, flood risk and regarding the importance of the building to the provision of local industrial services. The planning authority will apply a fairly subjective assessment as to the merits of the case with regard to whether the industrial building subject to change is in an area ‘important for providing industrial services’ and whether the development may have an adverse impact on the ‘sustainability’ of the provision of such industrial services in the area of the local authority. We understand this assessment by the local planning authority will be made on a fairly subjective basis.  Local Authorities have the opportunity of preventing such change through the use of Article 4 Directions.

It will be interesting to see whether this has a similar dramatic effect on the stock of available industrial land as the PD rules have had on office to residential conversions. Also, converting light industrial buildings to residential is not going to be easy compared to office conversions. Many traditional industrial buildings are no more than single storey sheds with limited windows and access points. Converting such buildings will undoubtedly be a major challenge.

If you have any questions or require any assistance in converting your light industrial building into residential dwellings, please contact FoddyConsult.


Swara Shah

Tel: 0208 334 0202