There are significant proposed changes to the current structure of the use classes order. The new provisions will come into force on 1 September 2020 and will allow much greater flexibility to change uses without the need to obtain planning permission. The changes will see Classes A1, A2, A3, B1, D1 and D2 revoked in favour of a new Class E ‘Commercial Business and Service’. This new class will cover a wide range of uses including: retail, financial and professional services, cafés and restaurants (currently A1-A3); offices, research and development and light industrial (currently B1); clinics, health centres and nurseries (currently D1) and indoor sport and recreation (currently D2).
Two other new use classes will be introduced: Class F.1 (Learning and non-residential institutions) which currently sit within use class D1, and F.2 (Local community) which currently sit within use class D2.
As one might expect, there have been some exclusions from Class E to protect uses with community value for example ‘cinemas and bingo halls’ (currently D2) and also to prevent unrestricted conversion to those uses with potential negative externalities, for example drinking establishments (currently A4) and ‘hot food takeaways’ (currently A5). These now fall within Sui Generis use and will need planning permission for change of use to or from.
The shake up of the Planning Use Classes Order will allow greater flexibility and generate opportunity for commercial property occupiers, developers, and investors - Please do get in touch with the team at Burston Cook to find out more …