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Radical change to Planning Use Classes Order

A principle of the planning legislation (Use Classes Order) is that planning consent is not required to change use within a Use Class.

With effect from 1st September 2020 the Use Classes Order will be radically different, making it possible to change uses without planning consent when previously consent would have been required.

There will be no more 'A' (shop) use class.  A1 (retail shop), A2 (professional services) and A3 (restaurant) will all move to new use class E, as will B1 (offices, R&D and light industrial), as will medical / health uses e.g. doctors surgery or yoga studio, as will day nurseries. This means an existing office could be turned into a restaurant or creche without requiring planning consent.

Pubs, wine bars (old class A4) and hot food takeaways (old class A5) will become sui generis meaning that planning consent would be required for a change of use.

There will be two more new use classes: F1 and F2.

Class F1 will include education, place of worship and public halls.

Class F2 is for 'local community' uses including shops selling essential goods where there is no other such facility within 1km and halls 'for the principal use of the local community'.

An excerpt from the legislation is below:

Schedule 2

PART A:  Commercial, Business and Service

Class E. Commercial, Business and Service

Use, or part use, for all or any of the following purposes—

(a) for the display or retail sale of goods, other than hot food, principally to visiting members of the public,

(b) for the sale of food and drink principally to visiting members of the public where consumption of that food and drink is mostly undertaken on the premises,

(c) for the provision of the following kinds of services principally to visiting members of the public—

   (i) financial services,

   (ii) professional services (other than health or medical services), or

   (iii) any other services which it is appropriate to provide in a commercial, business or service locality,

(d) for indoor sport, recreation or fitness, not involving motorised vehicles or firearms, principally to visiting members of the public,

(e) for the provision of medical or health services, principally to visiting members of the public, except the use of premises attached to the residence of the consultant or practitioner,

(f) for a creche, day nursery or day centre, not including a residential use, principally to visiting members of the public,

(g) for—

   (i)an office to carry out any operational or administrative functions,

   (ii)the research and development of products or processes, or

   (iii)any industrial process,

   being a use, which can be carried out in any residential area without detriment to the amenity of that area by reason of noise, vibration, smell, fumes, smoke, soot, ash, dust or grit.

PART B Local Community and Learning

Class F.1 Learning and non-residential institutions

Any use not including residential use—

(a) for the provision of education,

(b) for the display of works of art (otherwise than for sale or hire),

(c) as a museum,

(d) as a public library or public reading room,

(e) as a public hall or exhibition hall,

(f) for, or in connection with, public worship or religious instruction,

(g) as a law court.

Class F.2 Local community

Use as—

(a) a shop mostly selling essential goods, including food, to visiting members of the public in circumstances where—

   (i) the shop’s premises cover an area not more than 280 metres square, and

   (ii) there is no other such facility within 1000 metre radius of the shop’s location,

(b) a hall or meeting place for the principal use of the local community,

(c) an area or place for outdoor sport or recreation, not involving motorised vehicles or firearms,

(d) an indoor or outdoor swimming pool or skating rink.”.