Planning circular 2/2015: non-domestic permitted development rights - consolidated circular - updated 2021

This circular consolidates, updates and replaces certain previous guidance on non-domestic Permitted Development Rights (PDRs).

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Permitted development

3. Considering applications for planning permission for minor and uncontroversial developments is not an effective or efficient way of regulating development. Permitted development rights are granted so that some types of development (small alterations, extensions or works associated with existing development, for example) can be carried out without the need to submit an application for planning permission.

4. Article 3 of the GPDOgrants planning permission for any development or class of development specified in schedule 1 to the GPDO, subject to the limitations or conditions imposed on that development or class of development. Development contrary to any condition is not permitted. In practice, this means that development of a description in Schedule 1 can be undertaken without the need for a planning application but only provided that it meets all the conditions attached.

5. Every class in the GPDO begins with a description of the permitted development in bold type. This is set out in sub-paragraph (1) of the class number. Subsequent sub-paragraphs set out the circumstances, if any, in which the permitted development does not apply, and any relevant conditions.

6. There are a number of development types that are specifically excluded from the GPDO and which do not benefit from PDRs. Article 3 sets out that nothing in the GPDO permits development contrary to a condition imposed by a planning consent, including a consent deemed to be granted under PDRs. Article 3(4A) further establishes that permitted development rights associated with a building or use do not apply if that building or use is unlawful.

7. Other restrictions apply to certain developments, including:

  • Development, other than development permitted by Parts 9, 11, 24 and Class 31 of Schedule 1, that requires or involves the formation, laying out or material widening of an access to an existing trunk or classified road or creates an obstruction to the view of any vehicular traffic;
  • Laying or construction of a notifiable[1] pipeline, except where this is being done by a public gas transporter in accordance with Class 39 of Schedule 1;
  • Demolition of a building except in certain circumstances; and,
  • Where an Environmental Impact Assessment is required (again with certain exceptions. Separate guidance on PDRs and EIA is available.)
  • Where a development; (a) is likely to have a significant effect on a European site (as defined in The Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations 1994[2]), either alone or in combination with other plans or projects, and (b) is not directly connected with or necessary to the management of the site, permitted development rights do not apply unless approval is first obtained under these Regulations. (Separate guidance is available.)



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