From 1st September 2020 some fundamental changes have been made to the Use Classes Order 1987. This is likely to have a big impact on the high streets and the empty properties commonly available.
Any planning applications made prior to the 1st September will still follow the previous Use Classes order, briefly outlined below:
A1 – General Retail
A2 – Financial and Professional Services
A3 – Restaurants
A4 – Drinking Establishments
A5 – Takeaway Restaurants
B1 – Office / Business Space
B2 – General Industrial
B3/4/5/6/7 – Special Industrial Groups
B8 – Storage and Distribution
C1 – Hotels and Hostels
C2 – Residential Institutions
C3 – Dwellinghouses
D1 – Non-residential Institutions
D2 – Assembly and Leisure
Sui Generis – Bookmakers, payday loan shops etc
From 1st September 2020 any new change of use will be subject to the new Use Class order which is detailed below:
There will be no amendments to the uses classes B2 through to B8 and C1 through to C3.
However, all Current ‘A’ use classes, B1, D1 and D2 will be abolished. This will be replaced with the new classes, E (Commercial Business and Service), F1 (Learning and Non-residential Institutions) and F2 (Local Community) with further additions to the Sui Generis use class.
The new E use class will incorporate the following:
A1, A2, A3 and B1 in their entirety.
Elements of the former D1 & D2 use classes including but not limited to health centres, nurseries and gyms.
The new F1 use class will incorporate the following:
Elements of the historic D1 and D2 use classes likely to involve premises widely in public use such as schools, libraries and museums.
The new F2 use class will incorporate the following:
Elements of the historic D1 and D2 use classes providing for group activities and the principal use is for the local community. This would include community halls and churches, additionally shops selling essential goods to the local community.
The new Sui Generis use class will incorporate the following:
The following uses will now need full planning permission to obtain the following Sui Generis use class (assuming this is not the existing use)
P – Drinking establishments
Q – Drinking Establishments with food provision
R – Hot food takeaway
S – Live music venue
T – Cinema
U- Concert hall
V – Bingo hall
X – Dance hall
Premises can now hold multiple use classes concurrently or at different times of the day.
There is no change to the planning system for physical property changes.
Requirements for odour reports and noise impact assessments will still be required. This is likely to impact the A3 into E use class where restaurants will be allowed under planning but extraction and other requirements will still need planning permission.
Any permitted development rights that were granted pre September 2020 will remain. There will be an update to the permitted development rights on 31st July 2021 although there has been no indication of what this will entail. Until then permitted development rights will follow the existing use class allowances.
If this raises any questions please do not hesitate to contact Chris Harding on 020 8221 9619.