Temporary Permitted Development Rights for schools effected by Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete

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Temporary Permitted Development Rights for schools affected by Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete

Temporary Permitted Development Rights for schools affected by Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete

Tamara Ettenfield 04 Dec 2023
Following the recent closure of several school buildings due to the historic use of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) in their construction, a material which is now considered unsafe, schools around the country are facing a challenge of how to accommodate pupils in alternative accommodation at short notice. As a result, this has necessitated the use of temporary accommodation, such as classrooms on school grounds, while permanent buildings are refurbished or rebuilt.
On the 8th September 2023 the Chief Planning Officer issued a letter setting out that[1]:
“Due to the urgent nature of these works we encourage local planning authorities to take a pragmatic approach in these cases to find solutions that minimise any disruption to education, including the need for concurrent/retrospective applications, where unavoidable”.
The Chief Planning Officer acknowledged that Permitted development rights already exist for schools under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended). However, to further support schools and minimise the impact on pupils, the Government has introduced a further temporary, permitted development right. This grants temporary planning permission for the provision of buildings on school land where the school has a RAAC affected building.
This measure has been introduced to minimise the delay that the making, submitting and processing of individual planning applications would involve[2]. Schools will still be required to apply for Permitted Development, but the process is quicker than for a typical planning application.
The amendment Order[3] will insert Class CB into Part 4 of Schedule 2 of the General Permitted Development Order. This amendment was made and laid on 23 October 2023 and will only come into effect in England.
The time-limited permitted development right will cease to have effect after 24th October 2026. Buildings must therefore be removed no later than 24th October 2026 or as soon as reasonably practicable after each RAAC-affected building on the school’s land has been remediated or replaced. Should temporary buildings be required beyond 24th October 2026 a planning application must be submitted.
In order to manage impacts and protect local amenity the permitted development right is subject to limitations and conditions. Buildings cannot:
  • result in an increase to the school's published admission number;
  • be more than 2 storeys or 9 metres high;
  • have a combined floorspace of more than 125% of the combined floor space of the parts of the RAAC-affected buildings which have been vacated due to the presence of RAAC; and,
  • be within 5 metres of a boundary to a residential use.
It is important to note that the permitted development right does not apply if the temporary building is placed on land which is, or forms part of, sites of special scientific interest, safety hazard areas or military explosives storage areas. It will also not apply to land that is a scheduled monument or within the boundaries of a scheduled monument.

Lichfields Can Help

If you are unsure whether you are able to take advantage of the new temporary permitted development rights, then we would be more than happy to discuss your situation and assist with a notification or planning application if required.

Image Credit: Rodion Kutsaiev, Pexels 

[1] Letter about RAAC (8 September 2023) (publishing.service.gov.uk)

[2] The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) Order 2023 (legislation.gov.uk)

[3] The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) Order 2023 (legislation.gov.uk)