Permitted Development Rights for change of use or demolition of ‘drinking establishments’ is amended

Parliament has approved the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) (No.2) Order 2017, which amends the permitted development rights that allowed the change of use or demolition of buildings used as Class A4 ‘drinking establishments’, with effect from 23rd May 2017.

The duty amends the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (“the General Permitted Development Order”) (S.I. 2015/596).

The new regulations meet a requirement of Section 15 of the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017, that a development order incorporating pub protection measures in the Act be brought forward as “soon as reasonably practicable”.

The amendment removes the permitted development rights which allowed the change of use of buildings under Class A4 ‘drinking establishments’ to Classes A1 ‘shops’, A2 ‘financial and professional services’ and A3 ‘restaurants and cafes’ – or from those uses to Class A4.

New permitted development rights are introduced, allowing for the change of use of Class A4 ‘drinking establishments’ to AA ‘drinking establishments with expanded food provision’ and from AA to A4.

The changes restrict the permitted development rights, allowing for the change of use or demolition, which applied to ‘drinking establishments’ if they fall within Class A4. However, businesses which might be considered ‘drinking establishments’ could well be classified as Class A3 where the business relies heavily on the provision of food.

Approvals that have received permission are retained, as long as they were made more than 56 days prior to 23rd May 2017 (unless the drinking establishment is nominated or listed as an asset of ‘community value’). In the case of the demolition of a Class A4 building, prior approval must have been granted, determined not to be required or deemed granted before 23rd May 2017.

If a drinking establishment has been defined by a council as a ‘community asset’, there are no permitted development rights, and a planning application is required for any change of use or demolition. If a building is not considered to be a community asset, developers are required to give notice to the local planning authority at least 56 days in advance of the commencement of any works. Any interested community groups must then be given the opportunity to purchase the property to keep it as a community asset, in which case permitted development rights are temporarily removed.