The Government has introduced relaxed rules for planning approvals in new legislation following consultation on its Planning White Paper published in August 2020.
The new regulations have amended its classifications of usage types for premises. In particular, Class E has now been introduced for properties that are currently approved for the use of:
financial and professional services,
(mainly) on premises food and drink,
business offices including research and development or light industrial,
non-residential institutions for medical/health purposes, creches, nurseries and day centres:
assembly and leisure (indoor sport, recreation or fitness, gyms)
The implications for this class and associated regulations include (but are not limited to) the following:
Changing usage within class E (e.g. shop to café) is NOT DEVELOPMENT, so requires no permission
Changing from Class E to C3 (e.g. shop to residential) is now PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT with prior approval
Changing from Class E to A5 (e.g. shop to hot food takeaway) REQUIRES PLANNING PERMISSION
For more detailed explanation you can visit the Planning Portal
The attached document summarises the concerns raised by the Civic Voice organisation about the changes and the objections it raised with the government in the formal consultation.