Commercial Planning Permission

Two construction workersCommercial planning permission can cover the erection or extension of buildings as well as the intended use of a property for business purposes. It’s always worth someone investigating the current planning permissions of a property before they make an investment, if possible. A commercial lease solicitor in London can help their clients understand the planning status of their property at this stage.

Planning law is complex and changes often. A prospective tenant should always consider engaging an experienced professional, like Saracens Solicitors, to act as their commercial lease solicitor in London. Legal advice helps to ensure that they have all the information they need to make informed decisions.

New warehouses and industrial buildings

There are some cases where planning permission may not be required, even if someone is planning to erect or extend buildings. This is called a General Development Planning Order (GDPO). Industrial buildings and warehouses within the same area as the current development are exempt from the need for additional planning permission, as long as they meet certain criteria such as:

  • Gross floor space must not exceed:
    • 110% of the original building or 500 square metres (whichever is lesser) on designated land
    • 125% of the original building or 1,000 square metres (whichever is the lesser) on a site of special scientific interest
    • 150% of the original building or 1,000 square metres (whichever is the lesser) in all other cases;
  • The new buildings have to be intended for use that the site is already approved for or for services relevant to the business, such as a crèche.
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The exact criteria surrounding such developments can be quite complex, so it is best for someone to consult a professional such as a commercial lease solicitor in London before proceeding. If they do not, they risk being asked to remove any renovations at their own expense.

Article 4 directions

There are some areas that are exempt from the normal conditions of a GDPO, where a developer might need to be aware of further restrictions. These are subject to an Article 4 direction created by the local planning authority to take local conditions into account. An Article 4 direction might be used to protect a heritage site or conservation area.