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Tiny Homes – Build Now Or Never!

Published: 25/11/2020 By Chris Cary MSc (Hons) MRICS FAAV

There have been a few important changes made recently to the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO), one change relates to minimum sizes of dwelling and the second relating to the requirement for natural light.
Minimum Space Standards
Until now, officially there has been no minimum size for residential conversions under permitted development class Q (Agricultural to Residential) but also the less well known Class O (Office to Residential).
The Government have been threatening for some time to introduce Minimum Space Standards therefore we have been working with clients to submit any small scale proposals before these regulations come into force. Robert Jenrick, who is the Secretary of State for The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has now published the detail to his proposal.
After the 6th April 2021, buildings with a gross internal area of less than 37 sq.m or buildings which do not comply with the nationally described space standard issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government on 27th March 2015(3), will no longer benefit from conversion under the GPDO.
You might think that a building is too small to convert to house as class Q limits the size of the dwelling to the external dimensions of the existing building however I disagree. The first and major step is getting the principle of residential development over the line! Once you have gained permission for a house there is nothing stopping you submitting a full planning application to extend.  
Natural Light Requirement
While we are on the topic of GPDO updates, in June it was announced that there is now the requirement for the provision of adequate natural light in all habitable rooms of a dwellinghouse, in addition, floor plans are now required to be submitted as part of a Prior Approval Application within Class O, Class Q and more where previously there was no requirement to do so.

Chris Cary MSc (Hons) MRICS FAAV