On 30 June 2020, Boris Johnson announced radical changes to the planning system. These included changes to the Use Classes Order as well as the introduction of additional Permitted Developments. Set against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw a lot of building work and development grind to a halt, it is hoped that these changes will increase flexibility in the use of buildings and make development easier.

Below is a brief summary of some of the changes being introduced.

Changes made to the Use Classes Order

The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020 make changes to the Use Class Order and will take effect on 1 September 2020.

The regulations introduce three new use classes:

  1. Class E – Commercial, Business and Service
  2. Class F.1 – Learning and non-residential institutions
  3. Class F.2 – Local Community

 

  • These new classes replace the former use classes and Use Classes A1, A2, A3, B1 and Parts D1 and D2 now fall into new Use Class E.
  • The remaining use classes within Parts A and D of the Original Schedule are now sui generis uses.
  • Class B2 remains in a new Schedule 1 in an amended form.
  • Classes C1, C2, C2A, C3 and C4 remain unchanged.

Up until 31 July 2021, the existing Use Class Order will be retained for the purposes of permitted development rights.

Additions to Permitted Development Rights

Additional 2 Storeys

The Town and Country Planning (Permitted Development and Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 add an additional permitted development and come into effect on 31 August 2020.

Class A will allow up to 2 additional storeys to be added to certain residential and commercial buildings. Although certain limitations apply -  for example; if the property is a listed building, the site is of special scientific interest, the extended building would be greater than 30 meters in height, the overall height of the roof of the extended building would be greater than 7 metres higher than the highest part of the existing roof.

A detailed ‘prior approval’ process with the Council must also take place.

Additional Class ZA

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) (No 3) Order 2020 adds a new class ZA, which is being introduced on 31 August 2020.

The new class ZA allows for the demolition of certain vacant buildings and their replacement with a new residential building. As with class A above, certain limitations apply – for example; if the footprint of the old building exceeds 1,000 square metres, the height of the highest part of the roof of the old building above ground level is greater than 18 metres, the old building must have been vacant for a period of at least 6 months immediately prior to the date of application for prior approval.

A detailed prior approval process with the Council must also take place.

For more information

The above is a brief summary of some of the changes being introduced. We will shortly be releasing a webinar, considering the changes in more depth. However, if you would like some more detailed advice or you think any of the above changes affect a development you are involved with, please contact Stuart Evans.