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The New Class E – A Planning Officers Nightmare

26 August 2020 11:32

The Prime Minister has promised the biggest review of the English Planning System for 70 years - biggest shake-up of the Use Classes Order for a generation.

In the recent Government enforced lockdown effective from 23rd March 2020, many farm attractions have opened outdoor shows and takeaways to provide a much-needed income and employment for staff.

 To avoid a breach of your planning permission resulting in possibly an Enforcement Notice please ensure you notify your local Council as soon as possible of this permitted development change of use, preferably by a “signed for” letter.

In a single swoop, the Government have cut through the inherent restrictions created by a multitude of town centre use classes, and lumped most of them together in one broad based, flexible use class.

The new Class E comprises - amongst other things – the sale of goods and the sale of food and drink on the premises to your visitors, indoor sport, non-residential creche, day nursery or day centre, and an office to carry out any operational or admin functions.

In addition, drinking establishments and takeaways are now added to the list of sui generis uses along with cinemas and live performance venues. A change of use involving those uses still requires planning permission.

The new Class E undoubtedly means that in many cases there will be greater flexibility to move between a wide range of commercial uses within that class without the need for planning permission for that change of use.  

But note the new Class E is not a green light to complete flexibility and deregulation of commercial uses. 

Due diligence will be required to ascertain whether reliance can be placed on the new use class. So before looking to exercise new Use Class E rights, it will be essential to undertake careful property and planning due diligence on your Farm Shop or Farm Attraction.

With this in mind Farm Shops and Farm Attractions seeking help and assistance with the New Class E regulations please get in touch.

Barry Davies, Davies & Co on 01536 524808 or email