Prior Notification – Class T: Part 3, Schedule 2

Class T, Part 3 allows, subject to certain land designations (being outside a safety hazard area and not being listed) and prior notification to the local planning authority, the change of use of a building and any land within its curtilage to use as a state-funded school or registered nursery, from a use falling within Classes B1 (business), C1 (hotels), C2 (residential institutions), C2A (secure residential institutions) and D2 (assembly and leisure).

Prior notification process

The change of use is subject to the condition that before beginning the development, the developer shall apply to the local planning authority for a determination as to whether the prior approval of the authority will be required as to:

  • Transport and highways impacts of the development
  • Noise impacts of the development
  • Contamination risks of the site

To determine any prior approval application, the developer/applicant is required to submit details of the proposal, site and any other information deemed necessary for the local planning authority to assess the potential transport, highway and noise impacts and contamination risks.

On receipt of all necessary information, the local planning authority will notify adjoining occupiers/owners or display a site notice; and consult the relevant highway authority (to determine transport and highway impacts); the Council’s Contamination Land Officer (to consider the contaminations risks of the site), and the Environment Health Department (for an assessment of potential noise impacts). This consultation process will not be less than 21 days.

When accessing an application, the local planning authority will take account of any representation made and have regard to the National Planning Policy Framework. In relation to contamination risks, if it is determined that the site is contaminated land, prior approval will be refused.  

The applicants are advised the development shall not be begun before they have received:

  • Written notice from the local planning authority that prior approval is not required,
  • Written notice from the local planning authority giving their prior approval, or
  • The expiry of 56 days following the date on which the application was received by the local planning authority without the authority notifying the applicant as to whether prior approval is given or refused.

The development must be carried out in accordance with the details approved (where prior approval is required), or in accordance with the detail provided with the notification submission (unless the local planning authority and the developer agreed otherwise). Any development approved under Class T must begin within a period of 3 years starting with the prior approval date.

What information do I need to submit a notification application?

Application for Prior Notification of Class T, Part 3, Schedule 2 – Change of use to a state funded school and registered nursery – The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015

The Local Planning Authority may refuse an application where it does not comply with or insufficient information has been submitted to enable the local planning authority to establish whether the development complies with Class T.

Therefore, the applicant/developer must provide the following information to the local planning authority:

1. Developer’s Contact Details

  • Name
  • Contact address (house number, street name, town, county, post code)
  • Contact phone number
  • Email
  • address (if the developer is content to receive communications electronically)

2. Written description of the proposed development

3. Details/plan of site and development

If the local planning authority considers the information submitted is insufficient to assess this impact or demonstrate compliance they may ask for more information or refuse the application. To avoid any possible delays or refusals, it is recommended you submit the following information at this initial notification stage:

  • A plan which identifies the land to which the application relates drawn to an identified scale and showing the direction of North
  • A plan showing the proposed development:
    • Existing and proposed block plan of the site (e.g. at a scale of 1:500, or 1:200 or 1:100)
    • Existing and proposed floor plans (e.g. at a scale of 1:100 or 1:50)

4. Assessment of impacts

Given the local planning authority has only 56 days to determine such applications, it is imperative to ensure all necessary information is submitted with the original notification to enable the local planning authority assess the potential highway and noise impacts, and contamination risks. Any application should be supported with an assessment of the impacts or risks; and include a statement setting out how impacts or risks are to be mitigated.

Highways risks

Please contact Development Control Team to determine the level of information required. Depending on the scale of the development and its location, this may include

  • School Travel Plan
  • Transport statement
  • Parking surveys
  • Zig Zag proposals: Applicants need to apply to the Highway Authority for any school zig zag and guard railing proposals in front of pedestrian accesses. This will be contentious if it results in the loss of residential parking bays.  Any guard railing needs to be set 0.45m back from the kerb line.

Noise impacts

Please contact the Environmental Health Team to determine the level of information required.  Depending on the scale of the development and its location, this may include

  • Noise impact assessment
  • Details of plant – proposed noise output levels and existing background noise levels

Contamination risks

Changes in land use, for example from office to residential or industrial to office, introduce more sensitive end users to the site. This is particularly important if the development site has had a potentially contaminative past land use as there may be increased risks to those living or working on the site from land contamination. In line with the National Planning Policy Framework, where a site is affected by contamination, responsibility for securing safe development and ensuring that the site is suitable for use rests with the developer and/or landowner. In view of the potential for, and likely variations in required work, applicants are advised to contact the Council's Scientific Officer (t.hindley@richmond.gov.uk) in order to discuss the site further, prior to the submission of a ‘notification for a change of use’.

Definition of Contaminated Land: Section 78A(2) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990: “contaminated land” is any land which appears to the local authority in whose area it is situated to be in such a condition, by reason of substances in, on or under the land that: - (a) significant harm is being caused or there is a significant possibility of such harm being caused; or (b) significant pollution of controlled waters is being caused, or there is a significant possibility of such pollution being caused.

Our Land Contamination page provides further information including the Council's Contaminated Land Inspection strategy as well as guidance for developers.

Regard must be had to the Contaminated Land Statutory Guidance issued by Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in April 2012

5. From 1 October 2013, a fee of £80

Updated: 18 November 2015