Class ZA – Demolition of offices and purpose built blocks of flats with the replacement of residential: Discussed with Associate Planner, Roy Hammond.

Carrying on from Boris Johnson’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ speech, our Associate Director, Roy Hammond discusses and shares the new Permitted Development Provisions, and in particular the part that relates to the demolition of offices and purpose built blocks of flats with the replacement of residential.

Class ZA

Limitations & Conditions

The rights provide for the demolition of existing buildings, in light industrial and residential use, so offices and the light B classes and their replacement with new build residential, and that is either a block of flats or a dwelling house.

The rights enable you to do the rebuilding, as well as the demolition, and it does include the installation of basements and sellers.

The buildings to be replaced must be single use, so either flats or light industrial, or offices so not a mixture, and importantly they must already be detached, if you link to an existing building, then the rights will not apply.

The building must have been vacant for at least six months, and as you would expect common with the previous permitted rights talks, the rights do not apply to buildings that are either listed or within a conservation area.

Exclusions are the building to be demolished must have been constructed prior to the 31st of December 1989, and it must be less than a thousand square meters in floor area. It also excludes buildings that are over 18 meters in height, so in terms of the new building it must be no more than two stories higher than the building it replaces, this must be within the footprint of the existing building and it must be no closer to the highway than the existing, and no more than seven meters higher or a maximum of 18 meters in height, whichever is the lower of the two.

Class ZA

Class ZA

In terms of the planning process, that’s the Permitted Development, that’s the bit that you can do as of right now.

But there is still a prior approval process to go through with the council, it is not supposed to be as onerous as going through a full planning application. The reality is that the matters that they can take into account don’t differ significantly from those that they would take into account as part of a planning application, and they include transport and highways impacts, contamination and flood risk, neighbour amenity, external appearance etc.

The submission itself requires, for example, a construction management plan, works specification, and floor plans. There is third-party consultation that would consult with the local town council, or community groups, or neighbours existing tenants, highway authority etc. so it would be subject to consultation.

It is important to note there’s no deemed approval, so if the council doesn’t determine within the defined time period, you don’t get permission as of right and also there is a three-year time limit on completion, so it’s not commencement, you’ve actually got to complete within three years of the grant of the prior approval.

If you have a building you think fits this bill, then, by all means, get in touch.