New PD Rights for Changes of Use From Class E to C3

The Government has introduced a new Class MA within the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development etc.) (England) (Amendment) Order 2021 which will allow for changes of use from Class E to C3 (residential dwellings). Class E was introduced in September 2020 and covers a number of uses including offices, restaurants, shops, professional services and light industrial.

Under the new PD rights, changes of use are permitted where the cumulative floorspace is less than 1,500 sqm and where the building has been vacant for a continuous period of at least 3 months.

The Government’s rationale behind the new PD rights is to “help support the creation of much-needed homes while also giving high streets a new lease of life – removing eyesores, transforming unused buildings and making the most of brownfield land”.

Any homes delivered under the new PD rights will be subject to an application for prior approval which covers key matters including transport, contamination, flood risk, noise, daylight and conservation.

Class MA comes into force on 1 August 2021.

The legislation can be found here: Click to view link