Councils using ‘Intelligence’ to track down low EPC properties and fine £5,00015:08 PM, 29th March 2021
About 2 weeks ago 36
Whats the New Class E all about? I’m talking about the biggest shake-up to the planning system affecting commercial property for a long time!
Let’s talk about commercial property usages classes. For the last 50 years, all commercial properties have been designated for a particular use, for example, A1, A2, B1, D1 and so on. Traditionally you could change use within a usage class, but to change to another use required planning permission. This has lead to a lot of gerrymandering to avoid local council members sticking their beaks where they’re not wanted and interfering with commerce.
The usage classes influenced the way business was done. It affected commercial property owners in many ways, for example, if you had a Grocers shop and it became vacant, you then couldn’t let it to a restaurant without going thorough planning which would take months. Very few tenants/landlords want to wait that long and so for a long time, it would mean the property remained empty.
Lots of D1 properties such as Dentists and GP’s are in buildings not suitable for their purposes, and could easily be repurposed to an A1 Tesco Metro, however it was very unlikely that permission would be granted.
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