New minimum space standards

New minimum space standards, April 2021

Legislative updates applicable to prior approval applications for new dwelling houses (including through change of use) came into force from 6 April 2021 and apply to any such application submitted from that point onwards.

Permitted development legislation has been amended in relation to space standards, and specifies that any new dwelling house will only be eligible for permitted development rights if it has a gross internal floor area of at least 37 square metres, and complies with the nationally described space standard.

As of 6 April 2021, all new dwellings created through permitted development rights need to:

  • have a gross internal floorspace of at least 37 square metres; or
  • comply with the nationally described space standard issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government on 27th March 2015.

There are several transitional provisions in the order, which also came into effect on 6 April 2021. The most important of these being that the requirement to meet the new space standard will not apply to:

  • any permitted development scheme where prior approval was granted, confirmed as not required or obtained by default prior to 6 April 2021; and
  • any permitted development scheme which submitted its application for approval prior to 6 April 2021.

This provides a clear incentive for any developers who are currently in the process of drawing up prior approval schemes that may fall short of the national space standards to get their applications submitted as soon as possible.