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Shops and Professional Services in England

Premises used for Shops and Professional Services in England

From 1 September 2020, premises previously in use classes A1 and A2 in England will fall within a new class E use. A further new class, class F2(a), will cover small shops.

Shops – use class E(a) or F2(A)

Use of commercial premises as a shop in England will usually fall within use class E(a) of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended) which covers use of premises for the display or retail sale of goods, other than hot food, to visiting members of the public.

However, there is a further use class, class F2(a), for shops selling essential goods, including food, to visiting members of the public where (i) the area of the premises is less than 280 metres square and (ii) there is no other such facility within 1km. Class F2 is the “local community” class which is designed to protect community assets by preventing changes of use.

Financial and professional services – use class E(c)

Use class E(c) covers premises where financial and professional services are provided to visiting members of the public. Examples include banks, estate agents and solicitors.

Can I change the permitted use?

Certain changes of use of class E and F premises do not require planning permission (subject to certain conditions being complied with). Please refer to https://www.planningportal.co.uk/ or consult your local authority for further information.

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