Change of Planning Use Classes

From the 1st September there are planning changes in England, aimed to bring empty retail space into use.

Posted: Wednesday September 9, 2020

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From the 1st September new changes came into force for planning in England.

The creation of a Class E of planning is intended to make it easier for vacant retail premises to be reoccupied without the need to obtain planning permission (in most cases).

There is concern as to what this may do to many town centres where erosion of retail areas may simply accelerate a downturn.

The existing Use Classes describe building uses, previously Shops, Financial and Professional Services, Restaurants and Cafes and Business were individual classes; now these will all fall within the remit of Class E. This will allow for the change of use within that class, for instance from a shop to a cafe.

The changes don’t mean a complete deregulation of planning requirements in this use. There may be restrictions within leases or restrictive covenants, previous planning conditions may prevent a simple change and some Local Authorities will seek to restrict the changes through applying Article 4 (buildings in Conservations Areas or Listed are usually subject to Article 4 restrictions).

For more information on the changes and any plans for developing property Dabinett can assist, providing the full breadth of services from initial planning to project managing.

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