Commercial Conference

2020 General Permitted Development – GPDO Update 6

GPDO Update 6

The sixth update to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (GPDO) was made on 9th November 2020 – or GPDO Update 6 as we will refer to it on Planning Geek.

The update deals with minimum space standards and extensions to some of the temporary relaxations in planning due to COVID-19.

The GPDO Update 6 follows the announcement by Robert Jenrick, who is the Secretary of State for The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government or MHCLG for short that he was going to bring in minimum space standards for all permitted development conversions to residential. 

From the announcement in September until now, we did not know when this might happen. We knew that the next GPDO was due in July 2021, but would the government wait that long? 

We now know the answer!

The crucial date is 6th April 2021 – any prior approval applications submitted before this date do not need to comply with the minimum space standards. This update applies to Class M, Class N, Class O, Class Q of Part 3 and Class A, Class ZA, Class AA, Class AB, Class AC, Class AD of Part 20. it also applies to Class G – however for that there is no prior approval, but works will have needed to start before 6th April 2021. You are strongly advised to evidence this as you start to prove the fact if your dwelling doesn’t meet minimum space standards. 

If you already have prior approval for conversion to residential or obtain it after the 6th April then you will still not need to comply with minimum space standards. The only requirement is to submit the application before 6th April 2020. 


Other changes introduced


Class DA – Restaurants and cafes, drinking establishments and drinking establishments with expanded food provision to temporarily provide takeaway food has been extended until 23rd March 2022. This is aimed at relaxing the rules for such establishments.

Class BA – this extends the use of land for any purpose from 28 days with Class B alone to a maximum of 56 days. A maximum of 28 days using both Class B and Class BA is allowed for holding of a market or car boot sale. 

Added protection for concert halls, live performance venues and theatres from demolition has been added as well in Class B of Part 11

Local authorities have the ability to hold markets at any time and for any period extended until 23rd March 2022 under Class BA of Part 12. The same local authorities and also health service can construct temporary structures for emergency reasons on their land until 31st December 2021 under Class A of part 12A.

Finally the Crown may authorise development of any buildings on Crown land for up to 12 months for the purposes of preventing, reducing or controlling a pandemic – or COVID-19 in other words. This is Class QA of Part 19. Although not sure we will see a hospital popping up on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace any time soon!


The original PDF of the The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) Order 2020 No. 1243 can be found here.