Another new Permitted Development Right on its way – Demolition for new housing

27 July 2020

A new permitted development (PD) right allowing demolition for new housing will be brought into force on 31st August 2020. With the aim of stimulating regeneration of towns and cities and delivering homes more easily, the new PD right will apply to vacant and redundant free-standing buildings that fall under the current B1 Use Classes Order and purpose-built residential blocks.

There are a few conditions to this forthcoming legislation, which can be summarised as follows;

  • The new PD right will only apply to properties that have been vacant for 6 months or more prior to the date of prior approval.
  • The building the subject of the demolition must have been built before 1st Jan 1990.
  • The newly built scheme will be restricted to the footprint of the existing structure and must not exceed 1,000 sqm. It can, however, be up to seven metres higher to accommodate up to two additional residential storeys, within a final overall maximum height of 18m.
  • The right does not allow for demolition without subsequent construction of a new residential building, nor for the construction of a new residential building on previously cleared land.
  • Taken together, the demolition and replacement build must be completed within three years of the date of the grant of prior approval.
  • Buildings included within National Parks, Conservation Areas, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, or World Heritage Sites, or if the building is a listed building or scheduled monument or within the curtilage of one cannot benefit from this PD right.
  • The developer must prepare a construction management plan, which include details on how it intends to minimise adverse impacts on neighbouring premises.
  • Developments must comply with building regulations.

This legislation will bring forward one of the objectives identified by the Government in the ‘Planning for the Future’ document issued last March which was reinforced by the Prime Minister’s ‘build build build’ speech last month.  A link to the Planning for the Future document can be found below.


As part of the Government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we can expect more changes to planning legislation being brought and we will continue to keep you updated.