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Part Three – Permanent changes of use on our high streets

Published: 15.06.20

In the previous article of our four-part series, we covered ‘Meanwhile Uses and Temporary Changes of Use’ of space on our high streets (article reference; Part Two – Meanwhile and Temporary uses of space).

In Part Three our team of experts outline the ‘Permanent Changes’ to the Planning System, and how such changes effect both land owners and tenants alike.

On the subject of Permanent Changes, an interesting article in the Sunday Times appeared over the weekend relating to the most topical Government Advisor, Dominic Cummins. The article, which was covered by Planning Resource, examines the High Street and the notion of total flexibility of uses being explored, by Cummins and Robert Jenrick, as part of the overhaul of the Planning System (article; Planning Resource article).

Whilst we all wait for total flexibility and a renaissance of town centres, which are ever evolving, our team of experts have put together a table of the permitted changes on a permanent basis for your knowledge. See below;

Table key:

STPA – “STPA” means there are qualifying conditions and the change of use must be consented by the local authority

* – Does not apply to Listed Building

** – Does not apply to Article 2(3) Land defined as Conservation Area, AONB, National Parks, The Broads, World Heritage Site

*** – Does not apply to SSSI, Safety Hazard Area, Scheduled Monument, Military Explosives Area.




The above listed information does seemingly provide a degree of flexibility for permanent changes in the high street. However, we certainly appreciate that the bane of a prior approval application, and the lack of certainty in this regard, could be a real put off for a new tenant – and ultimately a versatile high street.


Alex Richards

Position: Planner

020 7993 4539

Email Alex

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