Permitted Development rights and airports

Planning update

01 Sep 2017
David Gavin, Senior Director from Lichfields explains how permitted development rights apply to airports and some common pitfalls in establishing applicability.
Permitted development rights (PDRs) are enjoyed by airports and certain other bodies allowing them to undertake operational development without the need to apply for planning permission. They provide the ability to respond to the requirements of regulators, operators and passengers, attract business investment and in the case of the Crown, provide development needed for national security. Schedule 2, Part 8, Class F of the Town and Country Planning General Permitted Development Order 2015 (GDPO) deals with development at an airport and is the focus of this article.
But in practice it is not always clear if PDRs can be used or who they apply to. It is not always clear who and what constitutes a relevant airport operator, what constitutes operational land, what level of consultation is required between the airport and local planning authority, who in practice can act as an agent of the relevant airport operator, and how airports held solely in local authority ownership can benefit from their own equivalent PDR.
This article considers:
  • Establishing entitlement to PDR
  • Alternatives to Part 8
  • Who is the relevant airport operator’s ‘agent of development’?
  • Removing PDR
  • Development by the Crown