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Major changes to the Use Class Order from September 2020

The UK Government has announced significant revisions to the current Use Class Order which aims to provide greater flexibility for conversions and to ensure high streets continue to flourish amid the pandemic.

The new use classes and changes include:

Class E ‘Commercial, Business and Service’:

  • A1 Shops
  • A2 Financial and Professional Services
  • A3 Cafes/restaurants
  • B1a Other than a use within Class A2
  • B1b Research and development of products or processes
  • B1c Industrial processes
  • D1 Non-residential institutions
  • D2 Gymnasium and indoor recreations not involving motor vehicles or firearms

Class F.1 ‘Learning and non-residential institutions’

  • Schools, non-residential educational facilities, museums, libraries, law courts, places of worship and exhibition halls.

Class F.2 ‘Local Community’

  • Includes a shop of no more than 280m2 selling essential goods and food, and at least 1km from another similar shop. Can also be a community hall/meeting place, outdoor sport and recreation as well as a swimming pool and skating rink.

As indicated above, there are some use classes which have been excluded which includes A4 Drinking Establishments, A5 Hot Food Takeaways, as well as Cinemas, Bingo Halls and Dance Halls which previously fell under Use Class D2.

When does this come into affect?

These changes will be implemented on 1st September 2020.

How will this affect you?

If you own an existing property which originally fell inside Use Class A, B, and D as above then you have greater flexibility to either convert it into C3 residential dwellings or any type of use which falls within the new Use Class E under permitted development rights.

How can we help?

We have an expansive portfolio of converting properties both under permitted development and full planning applications – we can assist you in finding the best solution financially and in terms of design. We can help achieve this through feasibility studies and eventually through the submission of a Prior Approval application. Please contact us at or call at 0208 944 1180.

We will do our best to keep you informed and will continue to provide you with further updates.

Written by Z group Architects.

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