A Quick Guide to the Use Classes Order 2020 4 Sep 2020
Since the Covid-19 lockdown of 2020 we have all been experiencing unprecedented times. The long established High Street retailers have been hit hard with the likes of John Lewis and Debenhams in Watford Town Centre, amongst many other retail businesses, closing stores and creating large voids. The Government have responded by overhauling the use class order resulting in three new use classes, E, F.1 and F.2 which came into effect on the 1 September 2020.
Class E will be made up of the following uses:-
- A1 – Shops
- A2 – Financial and Professional Services (not medical)
- A3 – Café or restaurant
- B1(a) – Office other than a use within use class A2
- B1(b) – Research and development of products or processes
- B1(c) – For any industrial process (Which can be carried out in any residential area without causing detriment to the amenity of the area)
- D1 – Clinics, Health Centres, Creches, day nurseries and day centres.
- D2 – Gymnasiums, indoor recreations not involving motorised vehicles or firearms.
Our understanding is the Government is allowing movement between the above uses to give businesses the ability to adopt to changing circumstances.
Therefore the use of a building that falls within Class E will be able to change to another use within the class without the need for planning permission. (All interested parties will need to carry out their own due diligence where some exceptions may apply)
Two other use classes will be created, Class F.1 and F.2 to include the following:-
- Non residential educational uses
- Art Galleries
- Public Hall
- Religious institution
- Law Court
Class F.2 (local community)
- Use as a shop of no more than 280 sq m mostly selling essential goods, including food. At least 1km away from a similar shop.
- A community hall
- Area for outdoor sport
- Swimming pool
- Skating rink
Several remaining uses will now fall under Sui Generis, not being able to change under Permitted Development, therefore tenants will need to make an application to the Local Authority for change of use. This includes the following uses:-
- A4 Pub/drinking establishment
- A5 hot food takeaway
- D2 Live Music Venue
- D2(a) Cinema
- D2(b) Concert Hall
- D2 (c) Bingo Hall
Uses such as B2, B8, C1, C2, C2a, C3 and C4 remain unchanged.
Looking for information on the Use Classes Order 2020?
Head of Commercial
Joel Lobatto is an experienced consultant in all aspects of commercial property and is on hand to offer his expert advice on any aspect of the Use Classes Order 2020. Joel is able to offer free advice if you are considering any change of use, and he is incredibly knowledgeable on this subject, in particular with Watford Borough Council and Three Rivers District Council planning committees.
- e. email@example.com
- t. 01923 239080
- m. 07786 928311