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Planning Shake Up... Or Pointless Sideshow?

View profile for Paul Sams
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Planning Shake Up... Or Pointless Sideshow?

On 21st July 2020 the Government announced new planning classes in an attempt to change the way that planning is handled.  Will it be successful or is this just political “smoke and mirrors”?  Probably a bit of both.

In brief, planning has always been split into different classes.  These have been designated by letters A through to D with different numbers within each letter group, as follows;

  • A - shops and offices
  • B - industrial units
  • C - residential 
  • D - places where people gather such as schools, cinemas and gyms.  

There is also a class all of it’s own named “sui generis” which believe it or not means “of it’s own kind” and therefore unique.  One could argue that more property should fall within that class as every single human being or living creature could so why not property?  Perhaps this is not the right forum for such deep thinking...

Class Changes

C class has remained residential use.  A, B and D from 31st August 2020 will fall within the new simplified (on the face of it) bands E and F.  E being for business plus service offerings and F for non-residential but non-commercial.  This is a broad brush description but fairly accurate to cover the same.

These changes come into force next month, but the old class uses remain for the purposes of permitted development until July 2021.  This is a clear indication that permitted development is within the Government’s sights for an overhaul as well.  

So what is permitted development?

The original of the word permitted comes from the Latin word “permittere” to mean “let go through”.  To simple minded folk like me this means that planning consent for certain matters is not required for example converting an office to residential dwellings in most circumstances.  There are of course exceptions to every rule.

The change to planning and the outlook from the Government could not have come at a better time in my opinion.  The world has changed because of Covid 19.  The requirement for office space is in a state of massive decline.  There was a move away from offices and the high street in any event in the past few years.  Let’s face it, some say that "people buy from people".  If that is the case how come I spend so much with Amazon, when I have never met Jeff Bezos?

People buy when they are well informed, and also when they want something.  This principle is proven by this very article, because those most interested in it want an expert to help them with a property transaction.  

That is where our team can help.
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