William Eichler 10 February 2020

Permitted development ‘doesn’t work’ and needs an overhaul, architects say

Permitted development ‘doesn’t work’ and needs an overhaul, architects say image

Permitted development requirements should be extended to ensure new buildings contribute to the wellbeing of residents, an architectural firm has said.

A new report from Resi has found that 20,000 permitted developments go through largely unscrutinised each year.

Permitted developments rights are an automatic grant of planning permission which allow certain building works and changes of use to take place without having to make a planning application.

They have been widely criticized for undermining local scrutiny of new developments.

A recent report from the Town & Country Planning Association (TCPA) argued that permitted development rights have led to the delivery of large numbers of new homes in poorly designed estates which lack public transport and basic social facilities.

Resi has also argued that permitted development ‘doesn’t work’. They argue that that these rights allow the creation of sub-standard homes, through office to residential conversions in particular.

They also warned that when it comes to conversions and extensions, bypassing local planning offices can lead to ‘undue risk being placed on the consumer’.

Resi argues that permitted development requirements should be extended to ensure ‘wellbeing outcomes’.

These requirements should be extended beyond transport and highways assessment, contamination and flooding risks, they say, with a review to cover additional technical parts of the Building Regulations, space standards, and access to local amenities.

These requirements should consider what is ‘relevant and necessary’ to the type of permitted development change.

The architectural firm recognises that local planning departments are under-resourced and might struggle with the extra responsibilities, but says it may be possible to certify professionals to issue standardised Lawful Development Certificates.

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