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An Englishman’s home is his Use Class C3 Dwelling

Posted on: 17 Feb, 21

In this episode, Oury and Clark discuss the implications of the new planning laws.

Champagne, Oury. What are you celebrating?

Clark says...
Oury says...

I am celebrating the end of Tyranny!

What? The roll out of the Covid Vaccine?

Clark says...
Oury says...

No! The changes in planning regulations, Clark. Finally, the noose of planning permission will be cut from our necks and we shall be free!

Didn’t the change of regulation come into place last September?

Clark says...
Oury says...

Yes. I should really have popped open this bottle then, but I was busy.

Doing what?

Clark says...
Oury says...

Waiting for a court hearing. Took up all my time.

I know the feeling. *Dura lex Sed lex."

Clark says...
Oury says...

Eh?

Latin for "Hurry up and wait" - the motto of the British legal system. What happened at the court hearing?

Clark says...
Oury says...

The claim was dismissed, so the use class changes remain in force. There’s talk of the claimants appealing the decision, but today I have decided not to let the waiting for a possible appeal take up so much of my time. Here’s to the new planning use class E !

Use class E!

Clark says...
Oury says...

Shops, restaurants, offices, gyms, GPs and nurseries are all grouped together into one planning use class. Do you know why they did it Clark?

No. Why?

Clark says...
Oury says...

To revitalise town centres and high streets. Our poor, beaten up, generic high streets. All those English towns that are just a row of five estate agents, three Poundlands and a "Shoe Zone'

I always avoid shopping at anywhere that has *land" "world" or *zone" in the name.

Clark says...
Oury says...

Now you can change the use of your premises without the need to get planning permission. Office by day, restaurant by night. It’s the planning equivalent of a mullet.

Eh?

Clark says...
Oury says...

Business at the front, party at the back.

The change of use class E isn’t a total green light to flexibility and deregulation. Leases for example may contain restrictions which prevent change of use.

Clark says...
Oury says...

Leases … shmeeses! Don’t get me started on them!

I don’t intend to. But most leases contain restrictions which means the tenant will have to negotiate with the landlord.

Clark says...
Oury says...

Landlords! Shamlords! Don’t get me started on them either. You’re going to get me on the gin at this rate.

And then there are local authorities.

Clark says...
Oury says...

Aaagh! Local authorities! ...Don’t get me started on local authorities! I’ll be on crack cocaine soon at this rate.

They can still exert planning control. There might be obligations from historic consents. They might impose Article 4 directions.

Clark says...
Oury says...

Pass the gin… in a pint glass please.

And now there are various uses that were all in one class and are now in a class of their own.

Clark says...
Oury says...

Sui generis.

Precisely. And well done for saying that after all that champagne. Pubs and wine bars, hot food takeaways, drinking establishments, live music venues, cinemas and concerts, bingo and dance halls. Each now has a class of its own.

Clark says...
Oury says...

This is like an episode of Yes, Minister. Class A, B, C, D and E might have become Class E. But Class E now has subclass i, ii, iii, iv and v.

But these are just caveats. Generally, Class E is a good thing. The flexibility is great for landlords looking to rent out their premises, and for tenants looking to diversify their business offering.

Clark says...
Oury says...

What about all the unused offices in city centres? Can we start converting them into flats yet? I’d personally love to live in a city centre apartment with his and hers toilets

If you already had permission to convert, that still applies. New permissions get introduced on August 1st. Most unused office space is above ground level.

Clark says...
Oury says...

So?

So it’s unlikely to be converted to other Class E uses. Most shops, restaurants, gyms and things require benefit from ground floor frontage. Hopefully from August Class E will be able to transfer to Class C3 residential use.

Clark says...
Oury says...

C3 what?

A residential dwelling.

Clark says...
Oury says...

Who thinks up these names? C3 Residential use. “An Englishman’s home is his Use Class C3 Dwelling”.

It’ll also be interesting to see what the requirements for change of use would be. And how much it will cost.

Clark says...
Oury says...

Well, let’s hope they get it right, and then hipsters can move in. The “pulled pork pound” that’s what city centres need right now, otherwise all that commercial property is right, royally

Oury!

Clark says...
Oury says...

I was going to say … totes finito obvs Clark! Chillax LOL bro!

Oh dear!

Clark says...

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We are but two fictitious characters throwing out ideas and comment to stimulate debate and collect information. As professional service firms, we are open minded people and think independent thought and debate is essential to help understand, as well as navigate, complex problems. By joves – doing business across Europe (and the world) is set to become a whole lot more complex in light of recent seismic political events. As businesses - we provide information and hopefully some wisdom - and we see this blog and its caricatures merely as a much more fun, perhaps slightly controversial way, of stimulating debate and collecting ideas. We’re searching for some true pearls of wisdom, and as we find them, we’ll share them with you.

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