Further Relaxation of PD Rights


From the 5 March 2024 further changes to the August 2021 General Permitted Development Order ("GDPO") which permits rights to convert from commercial (use Class E) to residential use (use Class C3) will come into force.


The existing PD right permits the conversion of buildings falling under Class E (commercial / business / service uses) to residential properties without the need for full planning permission, so long as prior approval is sought and a set of conditions are met, most notably that the size is limited to 1500 square metres of floorspace and the building must have been continually vacant for three months before the date of the application.


From the 5 March 2024 the two main conditions are removed so:

  • There is no 1500 square metres of floorspace limit; and
  • There is no three-month vacancy requirement.


 Councils may, of course restrict this new permitted development right by introducing an Article 4 Direction.


These amendments are to encourage the use of Class MA PD rights to help tackle the housing crisis. It is also believed this expanded right will enable full conversion of those buildings that are currently only partially converted (with the remainder left as offices).


A consultation for changes to various other permitted development rights, including extensions for households, opened on 13 February and closes on 9 April 2024.


While delivering more homes is of huge national importance the government is going to need to be far more ambitious with its measures to address the housing crisis.


If you have any queries regarding PD rights or other planning matters, please contact our Head of Planning at


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