Prior approval for permitted development
Generally it is up to a local planning authority to decide whether to allow a particular development or not. However, in England and Wales, the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 enables central government to permit certain types of developments known as ‘permitted developments’. These are generally minor changes to existing properties.
- Specific issues to do with agricultural land, such as the purpose, siting and design of agricultural buildings as well as the construction of a private way, the siting of excavation or deposit or the siting and appearance of tanks.
- Similar issues for land used for the purposes of forestry.
- Erection of plant, machinery, buildings, or structures on land used as a mine.
- The demolition of a building.
- Siting and appearance of telecommunications masts.
The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2013 came into force on 30 May 2013. It amends the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995. Some of these amendments permit development only with prior approval of certain aspects or beyond certain sizes:
- Rear extensions up to 8m in depth for detached properties and 6m for attached properties until 30 May 2016. If a neighbor objects, prior approval is required to assess the impact of the proposed development on the amenity of any adjoining premises.
- Change of use class from office to residential.
- Change of use class to a state-funded school, from classes B1 (business), C1 (hotels), C2 (residential institutions), C2A (secure residential institutions) and D2 (assembly and leisure).
- Change of use class from an agricultural building to a flexible use falling within either Class A1 (shops), Class A2 (financial and professional services), Class A3 (restaurants and cafes), Class B1 (business), Class B8 (storage or distribution), Class C1 (hotels) or Class D2 (assembly and leisure).
The procedures for seeking prior approval are set out in the legislation.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Article 4 direction.
- Avoiding planning permission pitfalls.
- Change of use class.
- Planning permission.
- Permitted development.
- The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2013.
- The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995.
- Use class.
 External references
Featured articles and news
Read the story behind the world's most iconic festival stage, Glastonbury's Pyramid Stage.
First ever BREEAM Communities innovation credit is claimed by Temple Farm Development.
Read the story of Ronan Point, another disastrous event which had profound consequences for the construction industry.
CIOB to help conservation specialists gain recognition for their expertise with launch of new Certification Scheme.
A brief introduction to Building Information Modelling - is it the future of construction?
Have a look at Francis Kéré's 2017 pavilion, based on the concept of the tree as a place of shelter.
CIOB announce new commission to assess what more it and the industry can do to tackle build quality issues.
As the UK enjoys a heat wave, read all about the daylight factor.
Not only is this building shaped like a teapot, it can rotate 360-degrees.
What is ACM cladding, what is it used for, and is it banned?
Read about the largest transport project in Norway getting underway.
Read our review of a new guide aimed at helping architects avoid and resolve disputes.
Find out about specifying insulation for inverted roofs.
Have a look at the new project being trialled in Modena that 'eats' the equivalent air pollution of 275 urban trees.