The Government has introduced radical changes to the Use Classes Order which come into effect on 1 September 2020.
It would appear that the aim of the new Class E is to provide speed and flexibility for the changing uses on the high street i.e. there is no need for express planning permission for a change of use within the same Use Class however, interestingly, there is no spatial or geographical limit on Class E so therefore it can be applied outside of town centres and the high street.
The former A4 and A5, drinking establishments and hot takeaways have been removed from Class A and have not been included in the new Class E and they are now sui generis uses. This means that they cannot change use without express planning permission (these were the uses within Class A that were most contentious in terms of local objections to use).
It should be noted that there is no change to Class C or B2 or B8.
Importantly, the Government has made it clear that any planning application that has been submitted prior to 1 September must be determined in accordance with the old Use Classes Order but post 1 September, all uses will be read in the light of the new use classes order so, for example, if you have an A1 use then post 1 September that will be considered a Class E use.
The permitted development rights that will be associated with the new Use Classes orders have not been published yet and therefore there are some complicated transitional provisions in relation to the new Use Classes Orders and permitted development rights which remain until 31 July 2021. As there are no current permitted development rights associated with the new use classes then any planning permission that secures for example a Class E use post 1 September up to 31 July will apply the permitted development rights under that use under the Use Class Order prior to 1 September.
As previously stated, the new Class E is particularly wide and flexible and therefore we anticipate that local authorities will look closely at the imposition of conditions on new planning applications and will look closely at what is permitted through the description of development and conditions on extant permissions.
In terms of drafting it will be important to check current leases to see what uses are controlled and how that use is defined. On new leases, if a landlord wishes to restrict certain use, for example in the new Class E then the lease will have to restrict to that particular use rather then relying on the general definition of the new Class E Use class.
New planning applications including variations and reserved matters approvals after 1 September 2020 will be determined by reference to the new uses and we discuss the implications on this in our recorded Zoom conversation. This is a radical overhaul of the Use Class and there are transitional provisions which link to permitted development rights and care must be taken in terms of drafting of leases and preparing planning applications going forward. For further information please check out our podcast or view our Use Classes table.
Karen Cooksley, Colette McCormack and Lindsay Garratt discuss the changes to the Use Classes Order in our video below.