Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee publish report on Permitted Development Rights
Today (Thursday 22 July), the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, of which Rachel Hopkins MP is a member, published its report on Permitted Development Rights (PDR).
The Committee’s report highlights a range of areas of concern, including that some homes built under PDR policy are of poor quality, and that the changes to PDR rights will have a damaging effect on efforts to revive local high streets due to allowing residential conversions in wholly inappropriate areas.
The report makes a series of recommendations, including that the Government should:
• pause any further extensions of Permitted Development for the change of use to residential, including the new MA right which is due to effect next week
• conduct a review of the role of PRDs for change of use to residential within the wider planning system and explain how it aligns with plan-led development and local democratic involvement, two areas of emphasis in the Government’s Planning for the future White Paper
• consider amending the prior approval process to require PDR housing to have outdoor private or communal amenity space, and to enable councils to require that PDR housing contributes overall to the delivery of the right mix of housing for their area. In particular, the report recommends that local authorities be able to prevent the siting of homes in inappropriate locations, such as business and industrial parks
Last Wednesday (14 July), Rachel Hopkins MP introduced a Ten Minute Rule Bill, titled Planning and Local Representation Bill, seeking to address some of the issues with PDR and the Governments proposed changes to the planning system.
The Bill would ensure that communities are able to have a say in developments in their local areas, allow Councils to impose minimum design standards for permitted development, and push developers to build homes quicker by making planning permission for major housing schemes subject to associated works starting within two years.
The Bill would also grant local authorities the power to refuse Permitted Development proposals that would be ‘detrimental to the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities’, such as Unity House in Luton. Unity House was converted from office to residential under PDR, despite being sited on a four-lane ring road in an Air Quality Management Area.
Rachel’s Ten Minute Rule Bill is set to have its second reading on Friday 22 October.
Rachel Hopkins MP said:
‘We need a bold plan to tackle the housing crisis, but the Government’s planning White Paper will only lead to the development of poor-quality housing if it widens the use of PDR.
PDR creates small, cramped flats in poor locations. If the Government chooses to forge on with their expansion of PDR, they risk creating the ‘slums of the future’; rather than the truly affordable, quality, family homes we need.
My planning Ten Minute Rule Bill would empower local authorities to refuse prior approval if the development would be detrimental to the health and wellbeing of individuals or their local community.’
Notes for Editors
Housing Communities and Local Government report on Permitted Development Rights.
Housing Communities and Local Government report on The Future of The Planning System.
Rachel Hopkins Ten Minute Rule Bill Speech.