The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2011 Householder Permitted Development Rights: Consultation Paper

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PART 1

Glossary

"the 1992 Order"

the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Order 1992, as amended.

"Article 4 direction"

a direction, usually made by a planning authority and approved by Scottish Ministers, where in a particular area, particular permitted developments rights are not applicable.

"Classes"

a grouping of a development type where permitted development rights apply

"Curtilage"

land which is used for the comfortable enjoyment of a house and which serves the purpose of that house in some necessary or reasonably useful way. It need not be marked off or enclosed in any way.

"Enlargement"

any development that increases the internal volume of the original dwellinghouse and includes a canopy or roof, with or without walls, which is attached to the dwellinghouse, but does not include a balcony.

"Fronts"

faces onto a road and this applies to both the principal and side elevations.

"General Permitted

Development Order"

(" GPDO")

an statutory instrument granting permitted development rights.

"Permitted Development"

(" PD")

planning permission granted for certain classes of development by General Permitted Development Orders Also known as Permitted Development Rights (" PDR").

"Principal elevation"

means the elevation of the original dwellinghouse which by virtue of its design or setting is the principal elevation.

"Road"

any way over which there is a public right of passage, including its verge. A public right of access includes access by foot or cycle.

"The 1997 Act"

the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 (as amended) by the Planning etc (Scotland) Act 2006.

Introduction

1. The purpose of this paper is to invite comments on the Scottish Government's proposals to change the rules that determine what type of householder development needs planning permission.

2. The changes apply to development relating to dwellinghouses, currently set out in the 1992 Order under Classes 1 - 6A-F. However, a new Class is proposed for certain development relating to flats and there are other consequential changes to some of the other Classes and definitions in the 1992 Order.

3. The principal aim of the proposed changes is to simplify the rules so that they are easier to understand and apply. It is also the intention that more minor and uncontroversial developments will not require a formal application for planning permission.

Background

4. The 1997 Act (and previous Planning Acts) contain powers for the Scottish Ministers to make a GPDO, which grants planning permission for certain Classes of development. The granting of planning permission in this way (often referred to as permitted development rights ( PDR)) removes the need to apply for planning permission provided that the development complies with certain restrictions and conditions set out in the GPDO and that there is no Article 4 direction removing PDR in a specified area.

5. The Scottish Government considers that there are three main issues to be addressed with the 1992 Order:

  • The current rules are too restrictive and many minor and uncontroversial proposals end up needing planning permission.
  • Since 1992, the Order has been amended more than 25 times so it can be difficult for users to be sure of what rules are in current operation;
  • Partly as a consequence of the above, the rules can be complex to understand and difficult to apply.

6. Considering minor and uncontroversial types of development is not an effective or efficient way of regulating development. Requiring planning applications, where the planning system can add no value imposes unnecessary costs and delay to development; leads to regulations being ignored and increases costs for planning authorities.

7. Classes 1 to 6 of the 1992 Order apply to the approximately 1.5 million houses in Scotland. As each house has a unique physical setting and a household with differing and changing needs, and capacities to meet these needs, it has proven difficult to achieve consensus over the changes to the household permitted development. However, the rules developed in this consultation aim to strike the balance between simplicity, amenity and efficiency.

8. Research in 2006 1 and the responses to a consultation in 2009 2 were used to develop a further draft Order that was tested with a number of planning authorities in early 2010. The results of these pilots have been further refined with the assistance of the Heads of Planning Scotland. The consultative draft has also considered the 2008 English Householder Permitted Development rules 3 that were implemented in October 2008 as well as the proposed approach consulted on by the Northern Ireland Planning Service 4.

9. The Scottish Government's assessment from this research and stakeholder engagement is that:

  • Approximately 50% of the 40,000 or so planning applications made each year in Scotland relate to householder development;
  • The largest category of householder development relates to extensions and a majority of these are single storey rear extensions;
  • 97% of householder applications are approved and a majority are not altered during the processing of an application;
  • The rules should be changed to remove single storey rear extensions from the requirement to get planning permission wherever possible and to allow householders greater freedom to make minor alterations without the need for planning permission; and
  • a 20-25% (ie circa 4,000 applications per annum) reduction in householder planning applications is realistic without unacceptable risks to public amenity.

10. This paper is divided into two further parts, Part 2 summarises the main proposed changes and highlights general issues of the new approach. Part 3 explains each of the new Classes in turn. There are questions throughout and these are listed at Annex A. Annex B includes a draft version of the proposed amendments to the 1992 Order. Annex C includes a draft circular that would provide guidance on the proposed amendments. Respondents are advised to read the consultation paper, Annex B and Annex C before answering the questions. A partial Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment and a draft Equality Impact Assessment are in Annex D and E.

11. We are inviting written responses to this consultation paper by 14 January 2011. Details of how to respond can be found in Annex F.

Next Steps

12. The results of this consultation will be used to refine the statutory instrument, Equality Impact Assessment and the Partial Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment. As part of this process we will work with the renewable industry to ensure that the order effectively incorporates the micro-generation amendments introduced in 2009 5 as well as those consulted upon earlier this year 6.