Betting offices and payday loan shops to be reclassified
2 April 2015 by Leon Pascal
On 15 April 2015, the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment) (England) Order 2015 (SI 2015/597) (“2015 Order”) will come into force.
There is a basic requirement to obtain planning permission if there is a material change of use of any buildings or land. The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (“UCO 1987”) specifies 15 different use classes such as class A1 (shops) and class A3 (restaurants and cafes). A change of use within the same use class (e.g. from a clothes shop to a newsagent, both shops under use class A1) does not amount to a material change of use, and therefore planning permission is not required.
The 2015 Order will mean that commercial premises in England used as a betting office or as a payday loan shop will fall outside of the use classes contained in the UCO 1987 and will become sui generis uses, being a term used to define uses that are not specified in the UCO 1987. The current position is that betting offices and payday loan shops fall within use class A2 (financial and professional services) of the UCO 1987.
The 2015 Order does contain transitional provisions for premises within use class A2 which are already used as, or are already in the process of being converted to, a betting office or payday loan shop. In these cases, the premises will continue to be treated as if they remain within use class A2. These transitional provisions will, however, cease to have effect three years after the 2015 Order comes into force.
It is worth noting that unlike the other use classes under the UCO 1987, sui generis uses cannot generally be changed to any other use (including any other sui generis use) without express planning permission. Proposed tenants of betting offices or payday loan shops will, therefore, need to keep in mind that their options when it comes to assignment may be significantly more limited if planning permission is not first (or, under the draft lease, cannot first be) obtained.
If you require further information about the 2015 Order, the UCO 1987 or any general commercial property advice, please telephone 01206 835300 and speak to a member of our Real Estate team or email [email protected].