Planning rules could be eased for free schools

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A consultation proposing to relax the planning regulations for groups setting up 'free schools' has been launched by the DfE.

The proposal would make it easier for existing buildings to be converted to be used as schools.

It proposes changes to the Town and Country Planning Order 1995 to free up the planning system for setting up free schools.

However, planning permission would still be required in circumstances where a school's development needs any additional work to an existing building or is a newbuild development.

The consultation proposes a range of options, including allowing some buildings, such as banks and offices, to convert to school use, allowing restaurants, takeaways and houses to be converted, and permitting development with some safeguarding conditions for all building uses.

Further information

The consultation on planning regulations related to free schools closes on 10 December.

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