Partner Karen Jones, head of Blandy & Blandy’s planning & environmental law team, explains the minimum space standards for permitted development homes.

New homes delivered through Permitted Development Rights (PDR) will be required to meet space standards, housing secretary Robert Jenrick announced on September 30.

According to the Government: “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.”

Homes are given consent through what the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government describes as a “lighter-touch ‘prior approval’ process”, which it says “speeds up the delivery of these new homes.” More than 60,000 new homes have been created on this basis in the past four years.

All new homes in England will need to meet the new Nationally Described Space Standard, which starts at 37 sq m of floorspace for a new one-bedroom property with a shower room (or 39 sq m with a bathroom).

The ministry stated that the changes will ‘put a stop to developers delivering small homes without justification’.

Reforms announced last summer aimed to ensure that new homes delivered through Permitted Development provide adequate natural light.

Mr Jenrick 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.”

He continued: “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.”

In August this year, the Government set out wider plans to reform what it labelled as an ‘outdated planning system’.

Our specialist planning & environmental law team is highly experienced in advising parties on ‘both sides’ in relation to Permitted Development Rights and projects. We have successfully secured planning consent for a range of clients, but also successfully represented clients seeking to oppose planned developments. Of course, our award-winning commercial property team can also advise on the sale and purchase of commercial properties and in relation to commercial leases.

For further information or legal advice, please contact or call 0118 951 6800.

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