New Forest National Park Authority: Pure Town Planning are delighted to have recently secured two new residential units just outside of Sway in the New Forest National Park through a prior approval procedure for the change of use of two workshop units into residential use (B1(c) to C3) under Class PA of the General Permitted Development Order (2015).

The client approached Pure Town Planning wishing to maximise the potential of their site which was a former farm with various outbuildings in different uses. As such, the applicant sought to convert the workshops on site into residential use so that they may be used as holiday lets. Unlike the conversion of agricultural buildings to residential, the light industrial to residential permitted development right applies in national parks – hence our client was able to take advantage here.

To prove that the change of use of the workshops to residential use was lawful under Class PA of the GPDO, we were required to submit a statement to the New Forest National Park Authority setting out the evidence to demonstrate that the building was used solely for a light industrial use (Use Class B1(c)) on the 19th March 2014.

Working closely with the applicant, we uncovered the relevant evidence to prove that the workshops were in use by a business which was separate to the main dwellinghouse since 19th March 2014. As such, the Authority concluded that the conversion was lawful and therefore full planning permission was not required.

Unlike a full planning application, a prior approval application for B1(c) to C3 can only be considered on the following four issues: flooding, contamination, highways and transport issues and impact on the sustainability of an existing industrial service. Furthermore, the Local Planning Authority must make a decision on these prior approval applications within 56 days of the date of validation.

If you have workshop space and would like to consider your options for converting it into residential use why not give us a call on 01202 585524 or email for a free confidential appraisal.