A little-known change in the national planning regulations could mean your commercial property has new and highly lucrative development potential. On 1st October this year a new class of permitted development (PD) rights came into place to enable the conversion of light industrial units (Use Class B1c) to residential use (Use Class 3). As Complete Land & New Homes we recognise this as an opportunity for many commercial property owners to benefit from the changes to the regulations. This form of permitted development will benefit existing light industrial units, which are generally considered as small-medium sized businesses which can operate successfully in residential areas without being a detriment to the neighbouring area. Examples of these types of business include small workshops, repair workshops and similar non- intensive enterprises. As a landowner you may wish to take advantage of exploring the value of your building within the framework of the new Permitted Development Rights and that’s something we at Complete Land & New Homes can certainly help you with. Things to consider include: The new PD rights won’t apply to all light industrial buildings. Those located in certain protected areas, or form part of a protected curtilage are unlikely to be eligible for residential conversion under Class PA. Sites which are exempt include:

  • The existing floor space of the building exceeds 500 square metres.
  • The site forms part of a site of special scientific interest (SSSI)
  • The site is occupied under an agricultural tenancy, unless consent is given by both landlord and tenant.
There are several other things which need considering which we would be delighted to discuss with you. Are External Alterations Required? Permitted development rights only apply where no external alterations are required to the building. If external alterations are required to enable the conversion, i.e. window positions, cladding etc, planning permission will be required for those works. We have a team of expert consultants, with experience in all areas of development and planning regulations waiting to help you. Will Smith, Managing Director of Complete Land & New Homes commented 'this is  rare opportunity to capitalise on a new planning change, supporting the need for housing across the UK.' If you think you have a site that falls into this category and would like to explore the development potential, then please get in touch with Will for an informal and confidential chat, you can contact him at will.smith@completeproperty.co.uk or call 01626 832063.