Synergy News & Blog: Guildford Office

Major improvement to School’s permitted development rights.

Major improvement to School’s permitted development rights.

The government has announced a number of revised permitted development rights, which include schools, within the amendment bill “Supporting housing delivery and public service infrastructure”. This was put before parliament on 30 March 2021 and came into force on 21 April 2021.

The key change is that the new permitted development rights substantially increase the threshold for the amount of development space permitted.

Schools benefiting will now be allowed to enlarge their facilities – by up to 25% of the footprint of the cumulative buildings on their site as of 21 April 2021, or by up to 250 square metres, whichever is the greater.

Previously this was limited to 25% square metres of the ‘original building’ or 100 square metres (with the exception of schools which were already capped at the new lower limit of 250 square metres).

This means if a school has already extended or expanded their buildings utilising the previous permitted development rights, they can do so again based on their increased footprint, as of 21st April 2021*.

This will save many schools significant time, money and resource when considering extension and expansion works.

In addition, the existing height restriction on new buildings has also been increased from 5 metres to 6 metres plus (1.5m for mechanical plant). However, this only applies when the development is more than 10 metres from the boundary. If the development is within 10 metres, then the restriction of 5m in height still applies but with the addition of plus 1.5m for additional mechanical plant is now permitted above the roof line.

There is no exclusion for school expansion under the new amendments and no prior approval is required if all criteria are meet**. For schools wishing to expand and increase pupil admission numbers, this process has now been made much simpler, with the previously onerous travel plans. can now be submitted 6 months after completion of the extension.

This is extremely positive news for schools looking to extend or expand their teaching accommodation and we very much look forward to working with our education clients and advising on how best to take advantage of these exciting planning changes.

* 2021 No. 428, TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING, ENGLAND The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development etc.) (England) (Amendment) Order 2021
* *General Permitted Development, Class M Part 7
Posted on 25/5/2021

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