No planning permission required for conversion of vacant pubs to residential property under new regulations

The Planning and Development (Exempt Development) Act 2022 Regulations came into effect on February 25, 2022. The new regulations will make conversions of vacant pubs into residential units exempt from the requirement to obtain planning permission. to build.

The new regulations are an extension of the existing regulations, the Planning and Development (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (No. 2) (“the 2018 Regulations”). Under the 2018 regulations, certain vacant commercial premises, such as shops, offices and guest houses, could be converted to residential use without requiring planning permission. The new regulations extend the deadline for the 2018 regulations from the end of 2021 to the end of 2025 and will now also include vacant pubs.

To benefit from the exemption:

  • The pub’s license must have expired;
  • A limit of nine residential units can be built in a building
  • Premises must be vacant for two years or more before development begins

It is important to note that commercial premises must have been built before the entry into force of the 2018 regulations, i.e. no later than February 8, 2018. The new regulations are implemented in accordance with the government plan “Housing for all” which aims to provide 300,000 new homes by 2030. The regulations demonstrate a growing willingness of lawmakers to introduce innovative measures to achieve this target while also providing pub owners forced into bankruptcy by the Covid 19 pandemic the opportunity to put their property to good use without the costs and delays associated with planning.

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