The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) (No. 3) Order 2020 includes an amendment to Part 20 of Schedule 2 to introduce a new Class ZA (demolition of buildings and construction of new dwellinghouses in their place).
The permitted development right came into force on 31st August 2020. However, the new permitted development right (alongside other recently introduced changes to the planning system) is the subject of a legal challenge by a campaign group (RCA). A High Court hearing is scheduled to be held in October 2020.
The new permitted development right allows the demolition of vacant and redundant free-standing commercial and light industrial premises (and residential blocks of flats) and their replacement with new residential units (either a purpose-built detached block of flats or a purpose-built detached dwellinghouse), subject to the following:
• The buildings must have been entirely vacant for at least 6 months and built before 1st January 1990.
• The old building must:
- Have a footprint of no larger than 1,000sqm and be no higher than 18m;
- Not be within a conservation area, national park, area of outstanding natural beauty or site of special scientific interest or form part of a listed building or land within its curtilage.
• The new building:
- Can be up to two storeys higher than the old building, as long as the resultant building is no higher than 18m;
- Must be within the footprint of the old building.
• Prior approval from the local planning authority, who will consider a number of factors including highways, flooding, design, natural light and impact on amenity of neighbours.
If prior approval is granted, before beginning the development, the developer must provide the local planning authority with a report for the management of the construction of the development and set out the method of demolition.
Demolition and subsequent construction must be completed within three years of the date of the grant of prior approval.