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Property News: Use Classes Order changes

July 30, 2020
Member News
Merton Chamber

The Government has announced radical changes to our planning system, overhauling our current long standing Use Classes Order in favour of increased flexibility in the hope of supporting the recovery of our high streets and towns.

The new provisions will come into force on 1 September 2020 and will allow significantly greater flexibility to change uses within towns across England without the need to obtain planning permission.

This is a wide ranging change to the planning use classes system and one of the most radical adjustments for many years.

The traditional retail, office, non-residential institution and assembly and leisure classes will disappear and be replaced by a single new Class E ‘Commercial, Business and Service’. This will cover the former shops (A1), professional and financial services (A2), restaurant or café (A3), offices, research and development and light industrial (B1), clinics, health centres, creches, day nurseries and day centres (D1) and gyms and indoor recreation (D2).

New simplified classes will be Class F.1 for Learning and non-residential institutions, (currently D1). This will include places of worship. The other class is Class F.2 for Local community uses (currently D2). This includes small remote shops as well as community halls and other places for meeting.

However, Class E excludes uses of a community value previously falling within D2, such as bingo halls and cinemas and dance halls. Similarly drinking establishments (A4) and hot food takeaways (A5) are also excluded and are now in a Sui Generis use (class of their own). Accordingly, a specific permission is required for such uses.

Wimbledon estate agents, Andrew Scott Robertson, are happy to talk to any local businesses of the benefits of this.


Stewart Rolfe BSc MRICS

Director of Commercial Property

24 High Street, Wimbledon

London SW19 5DX

D: 020 8971 4994

T: 020 8971 4999

E: srolfe@as-r.co.uk