Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government
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"Permitted development" homes to meet space standards

New homes delivered through Permitted Development Rights will have to meet space standards, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced.

  • All new homes in England delivered through any Permitted Development Right must meet space standards
  • This change builds on reforms to ensure these homes provide adequate natural light
  • Follows wider reforms to create a new, simpler planning system whilst raising standards

New homes delivered through Permitted Development Rights will have to meet space standards, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced today (30 September 2020).

Permitted development homes make an important contribution to delivering the housing the country needs by making effective use of existing buildings, allowing them to be changed into homes without the need to go through a full planning application.

The homes are instead consented through a lighter-touch ‘prior approval’ process, speeding up the delivery of these new homes – with over 60,000 homes provided over the last 4 years.

The measures announced today will mean that all new homes in England delivered through these rights will in the future have to meet the Nationally Described Space Standard.

The space standard begins at 37m² of floorspace for a new one bed flat with a shower room (39m² with a bathroom), ensuring proper living space for a single occupier.

While homes delivered through Permitted Development Rights have little difference in quality compared to homes following a planning application, a minority of developers have been delivering small homes without justification. The changes announced today will put an end to this.

This change builds on reforms introduced by the government last summer to ensure that all new homes delivered through permitted development provide adequate natural light.

Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:

Permitted Development Rights are helping to deliver new homes and making an important contribution to our economic recovery from the pandemic, supporting our high streets by encouraging the regeneration of disused buildings and boosting our housing industry to safeguard the jobs of builders, plumbers and electricians.

The pandemic has further highlighted the importance of having somewhere secure and comfortable to live. While most developers deliver good homes and do the right thing, I’m tackling the minority of developers abusing the system by announcing that new homes delivered will have to meet space standards.

Last month the government set out its plans to overhaul the outdated planning system, including new measures to place beauty and design quality at the heart of new development.

Under the new system, communities will be engaged at the beginning of the planning process to shape design codes that ensure new developments are in keeping with the architectural identity and standards of their area.

This includes the government consulting on homes delivered through Permitted Development Rights being covered by the new local design codes.

Further information

See further information on recent Permitted Development Rights and changes to the Use Class Order.

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