Planning use swaps
Planning use swaps

The following Local Government guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Planning use swaps
  • What are planning use swaps and how do they arise?
  • What legal agreements are needed to effect a planning use swap?
  • Why are planning use swap commercial agreements needed?
  • Planning use swap commercial agreements—key considerations
  • Section 106 obligations—key considerations
  • Landlord and tenant issues

What are planning use swaps and how do they arise?

There is no specific legislation governing planning use swaps.

The need for use swaps can arise where a local planning authority (LPA) imposes, as a matter of policy, a prohibition or restriction on the loss of residential space in their area.

Where a planning application is made that leads to a loss of residential space, some LPAs require a related planning application to be submitted for a proportionate ’re-provision’ of residential space in another part of their area. Two separate developers are often involved in a use swap.

For example:

  1. developer A applies for planning permission to carry out works or a change of use that will lead to a loss of residential space

  2. the LPA has a policy against loss of residential space

  3. the LPA says that in order for it to permit developer A's application, it must make a proportionate ‘re-provision’ of residential space in its area

  4. if developer A cannot re-provide the required residential space, it has to find another developer, developer B, to submit a related planning application for the creation of residential space in another part of the area in proportion to what is being taken away by developer A

What legal agreements are needed to effect a planning use swap?

In practice, two agreements are