6 February 2015
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) issued its Ninth Statement of New Regulation over the winter break on 30th December 2014.
This would appear to be an indicator of the subordinate legislation intended to come into effect before the general elections in May. The statement is an overview of the measures and regulations coming into force between January and June 2015, and does not include many of the proposed changes to the planning system that have been announced in recent months.
Notably, the office (Use Class B1a) to residential (Use Class C3) permitted development rights under 'prior approval', and the Permitted Development rights to build larger household extensions that currently expire in 2016 are unlikely to be extended before May.
There is also NO mention of the following measures, proposed in last summer's Technical Consultation on Planning:
• the proposed permitted development rights for the conversion of light industrial (Use Class B1c), warehouse and storage (Use Class B8) and some sui generis uses to residential (Use Class C3);
• the extension of the current permitted development limit on retail mezzanines floors above 200 sqm;
• permitted development rights for alterations to shops; or
• the amendments to the A1 and A2 Use Classes to limit betting shops, pawn stores and pay-day loan shops.
However, reforms to speed up and simplify the Neighbourhood Planning process are due to come into force before the general election in May, along with an increase in thresholds for screening for Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs). Reductions in the qualifying time for the 'Right to Buy' scheme and a 'Review of Local and Technical Housing Standards' are dependent on the process of the current Deregulation Bill.