Permitted development changes & prior approval notifications

On the 30 May 2013 The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2013 came into force and introduced a number of temporary relaxations and or new procedures to allow for greater flexibility under permitted development to allow for some extensions and changes of use of commercial buildings, subject to a notification procedure with the local planning authority.

On the 6 April 2014 additional amendments to The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment and Consequential Provisions) (England) Order 2014 were introduced which allow for additional change of use of some buildings to state funded schools and retail buildings to residential.

On the 6 April 2015 The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 was introduced which consolidates the earlier changes and makes it easier for business to make the best use of their premises; to deliver more homes; support high streets and retailers; support film and TV industries; continue to allow larger homes and business extensions; introduces extra rights for waste management facilities; and supports sustainability through reuse of buildings and increased use of solar panels on commercial buildings. Some of these new permitted development rights are subject to a prior approval process with the local planning authority and have certain conditions and limitations applied. More detailed information on the order and to complete the relevant forms, please use Planning Portal’s paper forms.

On the 6 April 2016 The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) Order 2016 was introduced which amended the earlier changes and makes prior approval changes from office to residential permanent.

The fee for a prior approval change of use is £80 (or £172 if building operations take place) and no fee for the other permitted development right changes

Larger household extensions

Householders are now allowed, subject to a neighbour consultation process, from 30 May 2013 to 30 May 2019, to be able to build larger single storey rear extensions under permitted development subject to receiving prior approval from the council.

This extended permitted development does not apply to houses which are flats or maisonettes, are a listed building or located within a conservation area.

The size limits are now doubled from 4m to 8m for a detached house, and from 3m to 6m for all other houses, with the maximum height remaining at 4m.

This is a prior approval system and cannot be done retrospectively. If work has started, then this procedure cannot be used and a full planning application would be required.

More information about this prior approval procedure can be found in the CLG’s larger home extensions document, in our own guide Changes to home extension rules or via Planning Portal’s interactive extension guide

To submit a prior approval application please complete the relevant form below and read the guidance & checklists:

There is no fee for this process

Once completed please send to:

Planning and Sustainability
Southampton City Council
Civic Centre
Civic Centre Road
Southampton
SO14 7LY

or by taking it to Gateway, One Guildhall Square, Southampton, SO14 7FP or via planning@southampton.gov.uk

The fee can be paid at Gateway or via a cheque made payable to Southampton City Council.

Any applications which are made invalid and where the additional information requested is not submitted within the time frame given, will be returned in the post along with a 25% administration cost taken from the planning fee refund.

Change of use from offices to residential

Office buildings (use class B1(a) and land within its curtilage can now change to a residential use falling within the Use Class C3 residential without the need for planning permission. Planning Portal’s use class guide for further assistance.

Development is not permitted where the building is listed or a scheduled monument, or if it located within a safety hazard area or in a military explosives storage area.

The building must have been used as an office prior to 20 March 2013 or if not in use on that date, a date must be supplied when it was last used.

Prior to making any change of use, developers must apply to the local planning authority to determine whether the prior approval of the authority will be required as to:

  • the transport and highway impacts of the development
  • the contamination risks of the site, and
  • any flooding risks of the site
  • impacts of noise from commercial premises

Where prior approval is required, development shall be carried out in accordance with details approved by the local planning authority.

Other aspects of development which may be associated with a change of use, such as alterations to facades, extensions etc. will continue to require planning permission.

To submit a prior approval application please complete the relevant form below and documents:

Once completed please send with the required fee to:

Planning and Sustainability
Southampton City Council
Civic Centre
Civic Centre Road
Southampton
SO14 7LS

or by taking it to Gateway, One Guildhall Square, Southampton, SO14 7FP or via planning@southampton.gov.uk

The fee can be paid at Gateway or via a cheque made payable to Southampton City Council.

Any applications which are made invalid and where the additional information requested is not submitted within the time frame given, will be returned in the post along with a 25% administration cost taken from the planning fee refund.