Major changes to Use Classes. As easy as A, B, E?

New Regulations were made on 20 July 2020 that make significant amendments to Use Classes and permitted development rights in England.

We have summarised the key changes made by the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020 (the "2020 Order") below and implications of those changes into a series of FAQs. These amendments come into force on 1 September 2020.

Caution should be exercised over changes of use. The fact that many uses will now fall into the same Use Classes doesn't mean that there is now freedom to change uses without any further consideration.


The change in Use Classes will be regarded as a mixed opportunity by many landlords and tenants. For those involved in retail and professional services the opportunities for changes of use by the creation of the new Class E will no doubt be a welcome relief and will enhance value and broaden the occupier market for many.

The change in Use Classes will however be a disappointment for those in the pub sector who will now find that they will no longer be within any use class and will require planning permission for business diversification.

Some caution will also be required before changes of use occur with reference having to be made to conditions of planning permissions and the terms of Section 106 agreement in order to understand if any restrictions apply. The terms of overage agreements and planning conditional agreements will also have to be given careful considerations in order to understand fully the impact on them.

Please contact Christian Silk in our Planning and Environment Team if you would like to discuss the implications of these changes.

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