There are many types of “Permitted Development” in England. This is development that you do not need to obtain formal planning permission for.
However, some types of Permitted Development require you to ask your Council for “Prior Approval” before you can build it.
Asking for Prior Approval requires a formal submission to your Council which must include the required detail as set out in Permitted Development legislation. An application fee (usually no more than £172) will also be due.
For reference the relevant piece of legislation is the "Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015" found here. Note that the legislation is subject to amendments.
Different types of Prior Approval require different types of detail against which the Council will assess a proposal. For instance, you may need to supply:
+ Technical dimensions (height, width, length, or area)
+ Design and external appearance
+ Transport impacts of the development
+ Flooding information
+ Impacts of noise
+ Impacts on air quality
In certain cases, you may need to provide further evidence to show that your development would not have a negative impact, otherwise your Prior Approval could be refused.
Currently, you need to ask for Prior Approval for the following main types of Permitted Development (although there are some others):
Rear extensions to your house which have a depth greater than 3 metres (or 4 metres, if your house is detached)
(Part 1, Class A)
A change of use from various shop types to a restaurant or cafe
(Part 3, Class C Use Class A1, A2, shops and professional services, betting offices, pay day loan shop, or casino to Use Class A3)
A change of use from various shop types to a leisure use
(Part 3, Class J Use Class A1, A2, shops and professional services, betting offices, or pay day loan shop to Use Class D2)
A change of use from various shop types to a house
(Part 3, Class M Use Class A1, A2, shops and professional services, betting offices, pay day loan shop or laundrette to Use Class C3)
A change of use from an office to a house
(Part 3, Class O Use Class B1(a) to Use Class C3)
A change of use from a storage or distribution centre to a house
(Part 3, Class P Use Class B8 to Use Class C3)
A change of use from a light industrial use to a house
(Part 3, Class PA, Use Class B1(c) to Use Class C3)
A change of use from an agricultural building to a house
(Part 3, Class Q, Agricultural building to Use Class C3)
A change of use from an agricultural building to a “flexible commercial use”
(Part 3, Class R Agricultural building to Use Classes A1, A2, A3, B1, B8, C1, D2)
A change of use from an agricultural building to a school or nursery
(Part 3, Class S Agricultural building to a state-funded school or a registered nursery, and no other Use Class D1 uses)
(Part 6, Class A and Part 6 Class B)
(Part 6 Class E)
(Part 11, Class B)
The Prior Approval process is supposed to be relatively simple, with decisions made by the Council quickly. In many cases, if you are sure you have submitted all the correct detail, Prior Approval is automatically granted if the Council fail to make a decision after a certain period of time has passed.
If you think the Council have made an incorrect decision on your Prior Approval, you can appeal to the Planning Inspectorate (an independent government body).
It most cases, you do not need a private planning consultant (like ours) to help you with a Prior Approval application to the Council. The required application forms can be found on the Government's Planning Portal page, found here.
However, for more complex jobs, appeals, or if you are simply keen for a robust approach, a planning consultant can prove invaluable. For more information from us on how we can help, email us with your project direct to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 01242 501 003 and we can provide you a fixed fee quote. Our main website can be found here: www.plainview.co.uk
Further reading and guidance from the government on Permitted Development and Prior Approval can be found here.
last updated July 2016