Fostering Growth: Supporting Housing, Agriculture, and Businesses Through Permitted Development Rights

In this blog, we explore the proposed changes to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, as amended.

This comprehensive consultation covers a wide range of areas, all aimed at bolstering our economy and empowering various sectors to thrive. From housing delivery and agricultural diversification to supporting businesses on our high streets, this blog delves into the potential impact of these proposed changes.

The UK government has recognised the importance of supporting various sectors to ensure sustainable growth and prosperity. One significant avenue for achieving this is through the strategic use of permitted development rights. These rights offer a streamlined process for certain developments, providing flexibility and reducing the burden of the planning application process.

We look at how proposed changes to permitted development rights can support housing delivery, empower the agricultural sector, and revitalise businesses on our high streets.

Supporting Housing Delivery through Changes to Permitted Development (PD) Rights:

Extending Housing Opportunities:

The government’s proposed changes consider extending PD rights for new homes to new uses such as hotels and guest houses (Use Class C1), loosening existing conditions under Class MA rights and enabling more agricultural buildings to change into residential dwellings under Class Q.  Size thresholds in respect of PD rights from betting shops and payday loan shops (Class M) and casinos and amusement arcades (Class N) might be abolished and the current date stamps from when these rights are available could be removed in favour of a rolling two-year date (as with Class MA).

The hope is that this will create new housing opportunities in towns and cities, and boost the rural economy, and encourage the reuse of brownfield land and greater densification in towns and cities.  Launderettes might have their PD rights removed due to their perceived importance to some local communities.

Potential new PD rights:

The government is considering the creation of new PD rights from Use Class C1 to C3 to repurpose vacant hotels, boarding houses and guest houses.  This may be subject to a prior approval process with specific conditions and limitations.  The government is already considering responses to an earlier consultation to possibly create a new Use Class C5 for short-term lets and holiday lets and a related PD right to move to and from this use to Use Class C3.

The proposals also seek views on applying additional flexibilities to allow other rural uses, like forestry or equestrian buildings, to change use to residential.  It remains to be seen how many new homes these new rights might help to create and much will depend on the conditions and limitations to be finally set out in law.

Optimising Existing Opportunities:

The Government is considering doubling the maximum number under Class G rights above Class E premises from two to four, doubling or abolishing all size limits in PD rights under Class MA and other change of use PD rights, and removing the 3-month vacancy requirement for Class MA.

Proposed changes to the Class Q right also include expanding the size limits for new buildings and the number of new homes that can be created. By increasing the floor space allowed from 500 to 1,000 square metres, developers can maximise the use of previously developed rural buildings, with more of an emphasis on smaller family dwellings rather than larger homes in the countryside.

Other possible PD rights on which the Government is consulting would see buildings that were but are no longer in agricultural use as well as non-agricultural buildings on agricultural land (e.g. storage uses) open to possible change of use to dwellings and the possibility of adding rear extensions of up to 4 metres to all agricultural-related PD conversions and access to the public highway.

New agricultural buildings and other new rural buildings on agricultural land might also automatically acquire PD rights after 10 years.

Supporting Businesses and High Streets:

Unleashing the High Streets’ Potential:

The proposed changes under Part 7 of the GPDO to enable larger extensions to commercial premises under Class offer greater flexibility for commercial, business, and service uses. By allowing a mix of permitted uses on a single site, businesses can coexist, supporting local high streets and encouraging vibrant community spaces.

Boosting the Logistics Sector:

Changes to Class H of Part 7 seek to increase the size thresholds for new warehouses and industrial buildings in non-protected areas. This enhancement supports the growing logistics and storage sector, enabling businesses to meet the rising demands in the modern economy.


Permitted development rights represent a powerful tool for fostering growth across various sectors in the UK. By strategically aligning these rights with the needs of housing delivery, agriculture, and businesses, the government aims to unlock the full potential of these industries, while ensuring responsible and sustainable development.

The current consultation will run until 25th September 2023.  New legislation is expected by either the end of 2023 or the Spring of 2024.

For further details view the consultation paper here.

DRK Planning Ltd is a multi-disciplinary planning and development consultancy practice founded by David Kemp. With more than 20 years of experience in planning consultancy. DRK Planning provides a diverse range of expertise, adding value to owners and businesses through a wide range of property services.

If you have an enquiry about Permitted Development Rights – email info@drkplanning.co.uk we’re happy to discuss your project in an initial brief introductory call.