On 21 July 2020 the Government issued new Regulations making sweeping changes to the Town & Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987. This is considered by some to be the biggest alteration to Town Centre planning in more than 25 years.

The primary focus of the overhaul of the Use Classes Order is to allow businesses flexibility, in order to satisfy change in demand. The new Regulations form part of the Government’s plan to help the country recover from the pandemic, which was captured in the Prime Minister’s pledge to “build back better, build back greener” and this will be complemented by a scheme to accelerate infrastructure development.

What are the Changes and when will they be implemented

The Use Classes Order groups different uses of buildings and other land into “Use Classes”. A change of use within a single use class will not be deemed development and therefore will not require planning permission. The changes made by the new Regulations create three new “Use Classes” in relation to England and are contained within the new schedule 2 to the Amended Use Classes Order.

The Use Classes now provide are as follows:-

  1. A new Use Class E (Commercial Business & Service)
  2. A new Use Class F1 (Learning & Non-Residential Institutions)
  3. A new Use Class F2 (Local Community)
  4. Unchanged Use Classes
  5. Sui Generis

The Town & Country Planning (Use Classes), Amended (Also) (England) Regulations 2020 will come into force on 1 September 2020.

RR Paice