Changes to Town planning in England have been approved by parliament and as of September 1st 2020 there will be no more Use Class A1; into which fell garden centres, farm shops and most other retail outlets.
We now have an all-embracing Class E, which includes retail shops, coffee shops, restaurants, offices, indoor sport/fitness/recreational facilities, health services and children’s day nurseries/creches.
This means that you can change from one of the above uses to another use without planning consent, unless your council has in place an order preventing a change and hence requiring planning permission.
There are exceptions to some of these uses, so it is necessary to check before making any changes, and a council can still seek restrictions on what a centre or shop offers through its planning conditions.
From a garden centre and farm shop’s point of view, the good news is that it provides greater freedom to alter a product and service mix without the need for planning consent.
For further information or to clarify any queries, contact Chris Primett on 01905 726535