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Important Changes to Prior Approval Under Part 20 GPDO – 56 Day Rule Planning

If you’re interested in creating new dwellings in airspace, there are further changes that have been introduced which impacts determination deadlines and fees for Prior Approval. Let’s explore how the new planning rules can affect permitted development for flats and upward extensions.

PD56 ‘the 56 day planning rule’:

Prior Approval applications (PD56) have previously been required to be determined within 56 days (8 weeks) from the day it is received and if a determination has not been made by the Local Planning Authority (LPA) within that timeframe then the planning permission is automatically granted.

As part of the many recent changes, in an Explanatory Memorandum reference is made towards how the amended Part 20 of Schedule 2 of the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) legislation for upward extensions, specifically known as Class AA, AB, AC and AD, would require LPAs to abide by article 7 to determine the prior approval within 8 weeks.

However, it goes on to explicitly state that ‘the right does not provide a default deemed consent if the local planning authority fails to make a decision within this time.’ This means that, unlike past PD56 applications, prior approval for upward extensions do not automatically receive planning permission if they are not determined within 8 weeks.

The memorandum continues to explain that applicants can still appeal to the Secretary of State under section 78 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 if a decision was not issued within 8 weeks. Prior Approval is to enable permitted development and be less complex than a full planning application however when taking all these changes into account, it is not unreasonable to wonder whether a full planning application would be a better alternative.

Although, it is important to note that just earlier this year, in a letter from the Chief Planning Officer had written to Local Authorities advising that there may be circumstances where the determination deadline may be extended, providing this is agreed in writing between the LPA and applicant. This was supported in an amendment to article 7 under regulation 4.

Changes to Prior Approval fees under Part 20

New fees have been introduced for Prior Approval applications under Part 20 GDPO for the construction of new dwellings. It is worth noting that these new rules on permitted development do not apply to Class AA for enlarging a house through an upward extension.

50 or fewer new dwellings

£334 per new dwelling

More than 50 new dwellings

£16,525 + £100 per each new dwelling in excess of 50

Max fee of £300,000.

The above can be found under Regulation 2 of [SI 2020 No. 836] amendment of regulation 14 of [the Fees Regulations 2012]

When does the new 56 day rule planning come into effect?

These changes have been implemented on 2nd September 2020.

How will the new planning rules on permitted development affect you?

If you are considering taking advantage of the newly introduced permitted development rights under Part 20 of Schedule 2 for upward extensions to blocks of flats, commercial/mixed-use, and terrace flats, then you should be aware of the changes relating to the determination deadline and prior approval fees for new dwellings.

How can we help?

We have an expansive portfolio of extending properties both under permitted development and full planning applications – we can assist you in finding the best solution financially and in terms of design. We can help achieve this through feasibility studies and eventually through the submission of a Prior Approval application. Please contact us at or call at 0208 944 1180.

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