The Use Classes Order – A Further Update

The Town & Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment) (England) Order 2015 has introduced further changes to the Use Classes Order in England which came into effect on 15 April 2015.

Highlights of the changes include:

  • Permitted change of use from Class A1 (Retail) to Class A2 (Financial & Professional Services);

 

  • Subject to Prior Approval* and a floor area of up to 150 m² (1,614 ft²), permitted change of use from Class A1 (Retail) to Class A3 (Restaurants & Cafés); not permitted in Designated Areas;

 

  • Subject to Prior Approval* and a floor area of up to 150 m² (1,614 ft²), permitted change of use from A2 (Financial & Professional Services) to Class A3 (Restaurants & Cafés); not permitted in Designated Areas;

 

  • Betting Offices and Pay-Day Loan Shops (formerly Class A2) are now Sui Generis;

 

  • Permitted change of use from Sui Generis (Betting Offices and Pay-Day Loan Shops) to Class A1 (Retail; with a ground floor display window) and/or Class A2 (Financial & Professional Services);

 

  • Permitted change of use from Class B2 (General Industrial) to Class B1 (Offices, R&D, Light Industrial);

 

  • Subject to a floor area of up to 500 m² (5,382 ft²), permitted change of use from Class B1 (Offices, R&D, Light Industrial) and/or Class B2 (General Industrial) to Class B8 (Storage & Distribution);

 

  • Subject to a floor area of up to 500 m² (5,382 ft²), permitted change of use from Class B8 (Storage & Distribution) to Class B1 (Offices, R&D, Light Industrial);

 

  • The time limit for residential conversion of offices has not been extended (expires on 30 May 2016).

 

Prior Approval applications:

Subject to a fee payable to the LPA; dependent on the nature of the use, might typically include matters relating to parking & highways, flooding and contaminated land; in cases of A3 use, matters relating to noise, odour, waste collection, hours of opening, transport & highways, existing shopping provision and external design.

Restrictions:

Further restrictions which may limit or preclude a permitted change of use include, for example, where the property is a Listed Building or Scheduled Monument, or is within a Conservation Area, National Park, AONB, the Broads, World Heritage Site, Site of Special Scientific Interest, safety hazard area or military explosives area or other designated area.