Wednesday, 31 July 2019

A Practical Guide to Permitted Changes of Use - THIRD EDITION

The Second Edition of A Practical Guide to Permitted Changes of Use was published in the Autumn of 2016, and the time is fast approaching when a Third Edition of this very popular handbook is going to be required. The manuscript for this new edition has recently been delivered to Bath Publishing, and we are now engaged in the editing process. Publication has been provisionally pencilled in for this Autumn.

In the time that has passed since the Second Edition was published, several further amendments to the GPDO have been made, together with the publication of revised ministerial guidance on the residential conversion of agricultural buildings under Class Q, as well as a number of High Court judgments which clarify various issues relevant to permitted development under Part 3.

The Third Edition of the book has therefore been completely revised and updated to reflect not only further legislative changes since the Second Edition was published but also developing practice in the handling of prior approval applications under the various Classes of Parts 3 and 4. This has resulted in substantial re-writing and a considerable expansion of the text, to provide a truly comprehensive and thoroughly up-to-date practical guide to this subject.

Three additional PD rights have been included in the GPDO (in Part 3, Class AA – A4 with expanded food provision, in 2017, and Class JA – change of use from A1, A2, or A5, or from a Betting Shop, Pay Day Loan Shop or Launderette to a B1 office, in 2019, while Class M was also extended, in 2019, to allow additionally a residential conversion from A5. In Part 4, Class D (temporary changes of use to various ‘flexible’ uses) has been expanded in scope to embrace a wider range of uses and Class CA – temporary provision of buildings, and use as a state-funded school on vacant commercial land, was added in 2017. Meanwhile, the PD right under former Part 3, Class P (residential conversion of a storage building within Use Class B8) has been allowed to lapse, although prior approvals granted before 10 June 2019 can still be implemented within 3 years from the prior approval date.

The text of this new edition has been extensively revised and expanded to include not only the further changes in the GPDO and in other relevant legislation that has taken place in the past three years, but also to reflect developing practice in the handling of permitted development under these provisions. Chapter 9, in particular, (dealing with the residential conversion of agricultural buildings under Class Q) has been largely re-written and substantially lengthened in order to deal with the complex and varied issues that have cropped up in what has proved to be, and is likely to remain, by far the most controversial and the hardest-fought of all the permitted development rights in the GPDO. Appendix D has also been significantly revised to reflect developing practice in dealing with the ‘structural’ issue that arises from the interpretation and practical application of paragraph Q.1(i)(i) in Class Q, and a large selection of appeal decisions specifically on this issue has been summarised in a new appendix – Appendix E.

The opportunity has also been taken to make other revisions to the text, in order to clarify a number of points that have continued to present practical problems for property owners and developers. Some additional appeal decisions have been briefly summarised, where these illustrate or clarify the practical application of the statutory rules

Finally, a number of issues arising from the prior approval process that were previously to be found in various parts of the book have now been drawn together in a new Chapter 16.

Some of the subject matter of the new edition has previously appeared in this blog, but there is great deal of material that is entirely fresh, and which expands considerably on the advice and the professional opinions expressed in the two previous editions of the book. The Third Edition will therefore be an essential tool for all planning professionals, landowners and developers involved in proposals for changes of use that are permitted development under Parts 3, 4 and 5 of the Second Schedule to the GPDO.

Details of publication and price will be posted here in due course. For the moment, though, orders for the new book are not yet being taken, and so readers will have to wait for a few more weeks before placing an order.



  1. Does the third edition cover the changes to Part 16 in detail? When reading it it appears contradictory and vague in areas. Does it detail what is now considered permitted development in clear terms, my local authority seem as confused as I am.

    1. A Practical Guide to Permitted Changes of Use (as its title implies) deals only with changes of use that are Permitted Development under Part 3, 4 or 5 of the Second Schedule to the GPDO.

      Part 16, on the other hand, is concerned with permitted development that can be carried out by telecoms code operators. It therefore forms no part of the subject matter of my book, although reference is made in the Third Edition to several cases involving Part 16 prior approval applications and appeals, because points of wider application to permitted development in general arose from those cases.