Planning : Class E (dramatic changes from 1st Sept)

Who might be the winners and losers from the new Use Class E? We’ve looked into our crystal ball and here’s what we think:

Shopping centre owners – of course! They will have access to a much wider range of tenants who can take a lease without needing planning approval.

Restaurant and café owners – we expect to see a lot of small independents taking High Street locations where previously they were blocked by planning.

Light industrial estate owners – will now be able to lease their units for leisure users (expect lots of new fitness studios – yoga, pilates, bounce, etc), offices, even cafes and restaurants. The latter not so odd – dark kitchens on industrial estates could open to the public. Plus, any user who needs lots of parking (children’s soft play for example), nurseries etc may pop up in selected industrial estates.

Beauty, hair, health providers – especially Nail bars – now firmly in Class E – will find it much easier to lease good sites.

Commercial tenants with existing leases – most will have a user clause linked to the old Use Class and not be able to enjoy the full fruits of Class E.

Landlord with “premium” uses in prime areas – such as a restaurant consent. These will lose their premium value when all other shops in the area can also be used as a restaurant.

Planning Authorities – they will HATE this! They will fight back. Expect many potential restaurants to be refused drinks licences. Expect a growth in BYOB establishments – hurrah! We also anticipate that new planning consents will not give open Class E, but the planners will try to restrict the range of future uses.

Owners with existing restrictive covenants or planning consents that preclude full use of Class E.

Flat occupiers above shops – that lovely quiet shoe shop downstairs could suddenly become a restaurant and there’s nothing you can object to.

If you would like a chat about planning options for your commercial property, please contact :
Tim Richards – Director, Agency