One of our projects, the conversion of former offices to six apartments, has just received confirmation that the proposals do not require a full planning submission or something known as ‘prior approval’ as they fall within ‘permitted development’ criteria. What is permitted development I hear you ask? Well, since 30th May, 2013, owners of empty office space falling in the planning use class of B1(a) have been able to convert their property to the residential use C3, without having to apply for full planning permission, unless the local authority have set in place something known as an ‘Article 4’ direction which would remove the permitted development and require a building owner to submit a full planning application. There are a variety of permitted development criteria relating to different building uses and it is always worth checking to see if your proposals fall within them.
To safeguard our client’s interest, we first checked that the site did not have an ‘Article 4’ direction in force and then we made the prior approval application to the local authority to ensure we were not going to fall foul of highways, flooding, transport and contamination issues.
The conversion scheme will deliver six new apartments, comprising one 3 bedroom, two 2 bedroom and three 1 bedroom apartments, in the heart of the town centre. All apartments will provide generously proportioned rooms and upgraded building fabric to ensure a high degree of sound and thermal insulation.
Construction is programmed to commence on the project early in 2015. If you have any comments or would like to discuss your permitted development rights, please do get in touch.