The changes to the planning system which came into force on 15 April 2015 form part of the Government's objective to support and boost growth in the economy. The new permitted development rights allow businesses to make the most out of their premises by allowing changes between certain use classes without the need to obtain planning permission.
For example, a restaurant or cafe can now change to a shop or provide financial and professional services without the need for planning permission. However, the changes are often subject to various conditions, limitations and the need for prior approval from the local planning authority so it is essential to scrutinise the details to ensure any conditions are complied with. Otherwise, there is a real risk of property owners and/or occupiers being caught out and having to suffer the consequences.
For more advice, please contact a member of our Commercial Property team.