Whether it is an application for a change of use for an existing building, or applying for permission for housing developments on the edge of villages or town, Head of Professional services at Symonds & Sampson Edward Dyke believes that there are many positives in the planning system to encourage property owners to maximise the value of their assets in 2019.
A number of Local Planning Authorities (LPA’s) are currently falling short of their five-year housing supply targets. As a result, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) supersedes the Local Plan policies, with its overarching rule that there should a presumption in favour of sustainable development.
Where there is an adopted Neighbourhood Plan in place, then this takes precedence over the Local Plan and the NPPF - unless the LPA has fallen below 3 years of its target housing supply - in which case even the Neighbourhood Plan falls behind the NPPF. We have had recent success using these arguments in North Dorset, West Dorset and South Somerset District Councils for developments ranging from 6 to 130 homes.
There are two potential routes for the change of use of buildings. An applicant can either utilise permitted development rights, or seek permission via the standard planning application process. There is a certain amount of ‘post code lottery’ involved, especially in respect of the interpretation of the permitted development regulations for change of use of agricultural buildings to dwellings under Class Q. South Somerset District Council are currently being the most challenging authority to deal with for the change of use of more modern structures, whilst West Dorset and North Dorset District Councils tend to be more pragmatic in their approach.
In any event it is essential to seek expert advice to ensure that the best case is put forward to give the best opportunity for successful development. If you have some buildings or land on the fringe of a village or town then it is certainly worth giving our team of planning experts a call to check out the potential for development.
Please contact Edward Dyke, Head of Professional Services, 01258 472244