Back to site

©2024. All rights reserved.
Crafted by 4Property.

Residential Units above the shop: Implications for an investor of the Planning and Development Act (Exempted Development) Regulations 2022 – “Living above the shop” planning exemptions (now updated).

Kelly Bradshaw Dalton outlines key points regarding the exemptions available under the Planning and Development (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2018, which have been extended to 31 December 2025. These exemptions facilitate the conversion of commercial properties into residential units, offering a streamlined process for investors. Here’s an updated overview reflecting the inclusion of the 2-year vacancy requirement:

Exemption from Standard Planning Requirements: The regulations provide exemptions from the standard planning process for specific development types. Notably, changes of use from commercial classes (Class 1, 2, 3, or 6) to residential use are considered exempted development, provided certain conditions are met. A critical condition, previously overlooked, is that the building must have been vacant for at least 2 years before commencing development. This requirement is designed to encourage the repurposing of vacant buildings, potentially accelerating the conversion process.

Time-Bound Opportunity: The exemptions are only valid until 31 December 2025. Investors should be aware of this limited window to initiate and complete their developments to benefit from these exemptions.

Limitations on the Scope of Work: The scope of permissible development work is specifically defined to ensure minimal external impact and compliance with local development plans. Key limitations include:

  • The development must primarily involve internal modifications.
  • The project cannot conflict with local authority development plans, especially concerning ground floor retail use.
  • A maximum of 9 residential units are allowed per structure.

Design and Quality Standards: Developments must meet specific design and quality standards, including minimum requirements for floor area, storage space, and natural lighting, as outlined in the “Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments” issued under section 28 of the Act.

Notification Requirement: Investors are required to notify the local planning authority in writing at least 2 weeks before starting the development. This notification must include the location of the structure and details of the residential units being developed.

Exclusions: The exemptions do not apply to protected structures, areas under special planning control, or locations near establishments subject to Major Accident Regulations.

Compliance with Existing Permissions: The development must not contravene any conditions of existing planning permissions and must be consistent with authorised uses.

The text of the Statutory Instrument can be found here: S.I. No. 30/2018 – Planning and Development (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2018

The more recent Statutory Instrument can be found here: S.I. No. 75/2022 – Planning and Development Act (Exempted Development) Regulations 2022