Changes to Permitted Development Rights for Pubs

On 6 April 2015 the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) England Order 2015 ("GPDO") came into force which removes permitted development rights for some drinking establishments.

Permitted development rights allow certain classes of development to go ahead without the need for an express planning application.

The GPDO removes certain permitted development rights for "specified buildings."  Specified buildings are buildings used as a drinking establishment which have been listed as an Asset of Community Value ("ACV") or which have been nominated to be listed.  The purpose behind the legislation is to protect pubs from development as they are seen to be an important part of a community. 

The Localism Act 2011 introduced the right for Parish Councils, neighbouring Parish Councils, Community Groups (i.e. a group of more than 21 members that are on the electoral role and operating not for profit) and Neighbourhood Forums to make an application to the local authority to nominate land or buildings as an ACV.  An ACV is a building or land which furthers, or has in the recent past furthered, social wellbeing and/or the interests of the local community and it is realistic to think that this use could continue, or may continue within the next 5 years. Social interests include cultural, recreational or sporting interests.  The most common types of building to be listed as ACVs have been pubs which is why they have been afforded special protection against development.  The consequence of a building or land being listed is that they cannot be disposed of without first being offered to the party who nominated the building or land as an ACV.

The permitted development rights which have been removed are:

  • Change of use to a shop, restaurant or café or to financial and professional services;
  • Change to a temporary state funded school for a maximum of one academic year;
  • Demolition.

If a pub has been listed as an ACV then the permitted development rights do not apply to the pub for a period of five years from the date that the pub was listed.  If a pub has been nominated for inclusion in the list of ACVs then the permitted development rights do not apply from the date the developer is notified of the nomination by the local planning authority until the date the pub is either listed as an ACV (at which point the 5 year rule will apply) or is entered onto the list of unsuccessful nominations (at which point the permitted development rights will apply).

Whilst the permitted development rights do not apply planning permission will be required for any development or change of use falling within the categories of development above.

If you are considering carrying out development to a pub which is authorised by a permitted development right it is essential to contact the local planning authority to find out whether the building is listed or has been nominated to be listed as an ACV.  If the property has been listed or has been nominated to be listed then a planning application must be made to the local planning authority for the development.  This will enable the local community to object to or comment on the planning application.

Posted on: 17/04/2015

This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.

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