Class E, any use?

The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (“1987 Order”) is a statutory instrument whereby certain use classes were specified and where planning permission would not be required for change of use within a specified use class.

On the 1st September 2020, the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020 (“2020 Order”) came into force amending the 1987 Order. The main reason given for the change is an attempt by the Government to add new flexibility in view of challenging economic circumstances, particularly, around high streets and town centres.

A new Class E has been introduced by the 2020 Order. Class E combines all the previous Classes A1, A2, A3, B1, D2, and parts of D1. In addition, new Classes F.1 and F.2 are created which regulate educational, non-residential centres, and community uses and further the 2020 Order has extended the scope of ‘sui generis’ (its own class/unique use). Classes C and B8 remain unchanged and Class B2 remains substantially unchanged.

Existing uses within Classes A1, A2, A3, and B1 will be treated as though any such use is within Class E. Any change of use within Class E will not require planning permission.

The full effect of the 2020 Order is yet to be fully understood. The 2020 Order is subject to legal process the result of which is expected shortly.

Amongst other things, we can assume that such changes will have an effect at rent review in leases and valuation more generally. Watch this space…

In terms of ongoing lease negotiations there are various ways to deal with the changes brought about by the 2020 Order. It is possible to refer to the original 1987 Order as at 31st August 2020 (the day before the 2020 Order came into effect), making reference to the specific use itself – ‘offices’, using more general language without referring to the 1987 Order or the 2020 Order, or perhaps looking at regulating use by the usual prohibited or excluded uses drafting.

If you would like to understand more about the effect of the 2020 Order, please contact:

Simon Jones
Head of Real Estate
Email Simon
T: 020 7003 8124

Cannings ConnollyCannings Connolly
27 October 2020

This Legal Update is published as a general guide only and it is not intended to contain definitive legal or professional advice, which should be obtained as appropriate in relation to any particular matter. This publication relates to matters prevailing at the date of its original publication and may not have been updated to reflect subsequent developments.