Convert commercial spaces into residential use under new PD rights from 1st August 2021.
WHAT IS CLASS MA?
Use Class MA (Mercantile to Abode) is a powerful new change-of-use strategy for converting commercial property from Use Class E to residential uses (Class C3).
This means you can convert vacant shops, financial and professional services, restaurants and cafes, offices, light industrial, medical or health services, creches, day nursery, indoor sports etc. into higher-value resi units, without the need for a full planning application.
CLASS MA CRITERIA
Class MA looks to offer a solution to our dwindling high streets by offering a new process for commercial (Class E) to residential (Class C3) conversion.
The new Class MA is different to the current retail and office to residential PD rights, with several different limitations and conditions:
One new limitation is the requirement for the Class E property to be vacant for a period of 3 months prior to the application for prior aproval. This means that you will not be able to apply if tenants are occupying the property.
The Class MA PD right does not apply if more 1,500sqm of cumulative floorspace is to be converted. This is significantly more than the 150sqm permitted under Class M retail to residential at present.
You cannot use Class MA in:
- Article 2(3) Land – AONB, SPA, the Broads, National Park, World Heritage Site
- Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
- Safety Hazard Zone
- Military Explosives Area
- Listed Building
- Scheduled Monument
What is prior approval?
Prior approval means that a developer has to seek approval from the local planning authority that specified elements of the development are acceptable before work can proceed.
Is prior approval like a planning application?
The requirements relating to prior approval are much less prescriptive than those relating to planning applications. This is deliberate, as prior approval is a light-touch process which applies where the principle of the development has already been established. It is important that a local planning authority does not impose unnecessarily onerous requirements on developers, and does not seek to replicate the planning application system.
What kind of information will you have to supply?
This will vary according to the particular circumstances of the case, and developers may wish to discuss this with the local planning authority before submitting their application.
How long do the Government have to respond?
56 days. Once granted you have 3 years from the date of the prior approval to carry out the works.
FREE EXPERT WEBINAR
10 THINGS YOU CAN DO UNDER CLASS MA FROM AUGUST 1ST
With just days to go until Class MA comes into effect, property experts Paul Davis & Ranjan Bhattacharya outline 10 commercial conversion strategies that you will be able to pursue on 1st August with Class MA that you can’t do today.
SOURCE CLASS MA
OPPORTUNITIES IN AN INSTANT
WITH NIMBUS MAPS ELITE+
Our Nimbus® data scientists have created a powerful new tool to save you time and money finding Class MA opportunities.
The new Class MA Elite+ Strategy highlights Class E commercial properties with a floor space less than 1,500 sqm, that also have a residential feel to them and would therefore be suitable for conversion to residential under new Class MA PD Rights.
What does the Class MA overlay do?
For each highlighted opportunity, simply click to reveal the following information:
STRATEGY #9 - CLASS MA
INCLUDED WITH ELITE+
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In order to access the Class MA overlay (Elite+ Strategy #9), you must
have an annual subscription to Nimbus Maps Elite (£120/month (+VAT)).
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