Class G Permitted Development Right: A Solution for Listed Buildings

Looking to convert a listed building? Class G could be your answer. Read our post for more information.

2/3/20243 min read

black bicycle leaning on street post
black bicycle leaning on street post

Converting listed buildings into alternative uses can often be a difficult process. However, for property owners looking to maximise the potential of their listed buildings, Class G Permitted Development Rights offer a valuable solution, as it provides an alternative to the limitations imposed by Class MA Permitted Development Rights (see our blog post for more information on Class MA).

Understanding Class G Permitted Development Right

Class G Permitted Development Right enables property owners to convert the upper floors of shops and offices into two residential flats, subject to certain conditions and limitations.

Class MA is a powerful new Permitted Development Right that allows some commercial buildings to be converted to residential uses, but Class MA cannot be used on listed buildings. However, not all is lost, as Class G could allow for the upstairs space to be converted into two residential flats.

What buildings does Class G apply to?

The building needs to be in Class E use, and the upper floors need to be ancillary in some way to the ground floor. For example, the upstairs could be used as an office for the ground floor shop. The floors also need to be linked in some way, if they have separate entrances and exits, you might not be able to use Class G.

Class E Use is a relatively new use class in the planning system, which includes a wide range of uses often found in high streets, such as shops, financial services, cafes and restaurants. For a recap on what uses fall within Class E, view our blog post here.

There are very few limitations on locations for Class G to apply. Unlike many other change of use Permitted Development Rights, it can be used in Conservation Areas, National Parks and Listed Buildings.

Class G Prior Approval

To use Class G Permitted Development Rights you will need to apply for Prior Approval from your local council. This means that you cannot just start works without the approval of the Council. The Council will review that your proposal meets the relevant criteria for Class G Permitted Development, and will also your proposal against the following prior approval matters:

  1. Contamination risks;

  2. Flooding risks;

  3. Noise;

  4. Provision of adequate natural light;

  5. Arrangements for the storage and management of domestic waste.

Minimum Space Standards

As part of the Prior Approval process, the Council will check to see if your proposal meets the Government's minimum space standards. If your proposed flats are too small, then you will not get permission for your works. The Government's Minimum Space Standards vary depending on the type of flats you are proposing, not just in terms of the number of bedrooms, but also if these are single or double beds.

For example, a 1 bedroom flat for two people, with a double bedroom would need to be 50m2. Whereas a 3 bedroom flat consisting of two doubles and a single bedroom would need to be 86m2. There are also additional requirements to provide sufficient storage, and bedrooms of sufficient width.

To find out more about the Government's Minimum Space Standards view the technical guidance here - Technical housing standards.

Don't forget Listed Building Consent

If your building is listed, don't forget that you will also need to apply for Listed Building Consent for any changes to the property. Depending on the scale of changes proposed, you may need to enlist the help of a heritage consultant. It is generally preferable to keep changes to the external fabric of the property to a minimum.


The Class G Permitted Development Right offers a valuable opportunity for property owners looking to convert the upper floors of their shops and offices into residential spaces. For those with listed buildings, this Permitted Development Right becomes even more crucial, providing an alternative to the limitations imposed by Class MA. However, it is important to understand and comply with the conditions and considerations associated with this Permitted Development Right to ensure a successful conversion.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you navigate Permitted Development Rights.