There is a new Class ZA Permitted Development Right which will allow the demolition of office, research or light industrial buildings with new residential dwellings or flats.

This also permits the replacement building to be up to two storeys higher than the existing building.

There is of course, a list of qualifying criteria which include; the requirement that the existing building needs to have been vacant for more than 6 months, the replacement building needs to be on the same footprint, and several others.

There are also prior approval matters that need to be addressed. These include the impact on:

  • highways
  • contamination
  • flooding risks
  • noise
  • natural light
  • design and external appearance of the new build

However, unlike Class Q (agricultural to residential) the new Class ZA includes consideration of:

  • ‘impact on business’
  • impact on heritage and archaeology
  • landscaping

There is also a requirement to provide details of the method of demolition and then, following approval, there is a need to provide details of the construction management of the development including some listed elements.

This PD right excludes sites in Areas or Outstanding Natural Beaty, Conservation Areas, or Listed Buildings.