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Town And Country Planning (Review)

Volume 115: debated on Wednesday 6 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress has been made with the Government's review of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order.

We are grateful to all those who commented on the proposals in our consultation paper last June on the revision of the order. I have today published a new order, which will come into force on 1 June. The order which extends to England and Wales, takes full account of all the views expressed to us.Modernising the order will reduce the need for planning applications, but retain effective control over changes of use where that is needed because of their environmental consequences or relationship with other uses.The major change in the modernised order will allow more flexible use of business premises. A new business class will be created by merging the present light industrial use class with office uses other than those which provide professional and financial services to customers who visit the premises; this will help commercial and industrial activities which at present straddle the boundary between two classes. In addition we have already clarified planning law to ensure that the subdivision of non-domestic premises does not constitute a change of use and does not require planning permission. These changes will give greater freedom to industry to undertake development and create jobs without endangering amenity.The order retains the existing shops class and adds to it certain similar uses which are at present excluded. The order also contains two new classes: one comprises uses as shops selling hot food, restaurants, snack bars, cafes, public houses and similar establishments; the other comprises financial and professional services offered direct to the public visiting the premises. The creation of separate classes distinguishing between offices serving the public and other offices should enable local planning authorities to grant permission more frequently for service uses in the knowledge that the order will not permit subsequent changes to uses that do not need to be in shopping areas. The hot food class should allow more flexible use of premises by the modern catering industry; it should not adversely influence consideration by local planning authorities of proposed changes of use from shops to fast foods restaurants, which can bring both vitality to the street scene and convenience to shoppers.One change from the proposals published last June is the exclusion of theatres from the assembly and leisure class so as to ensure that all proposals for material change of use of live theatres would require planning permission.The largest new class covers use as a dwellinghouse for various types of residential use. This class extends beyond use as a family dwellinghouse to small residential care homes and student accommodation where not more than six people live together as a single household. This will help to clarify the circumstances in which the planning system bears on our care in the community initiative. The order does not change the planning requirements when it is proposed to use part of a dwellinghouse for business purposes, planning permission is not usually needed if the overall character of its use as a residence would not be changed.My Department and the Welsh Office have today published a circular giving advice about planning control and the change of use of property and explaining the operation of the new order.

Nature Conservancy Council (NCC)
MemberBiographical DetailsExpiry of Appointment
William Wilkinson, ChairmanOrnithologist, Former merchant banker31 March 1990
Professor John Allen Ph.D. DSc, FIBIOL FRSEProfessor of Marine Biology, University of London31 March 1989
Lord BlakenhamFormer Chairman of Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Businessman and Farmer31 March 1990
Professor David BowenProfessor of Geography, Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, University of London31 March 1989
Sir John Burnell MA, DPhil, DSc, LLD, FRCSE, FIBIOL, FRSEBotanist. Principal and Vice-Chancellor University of Edinburgh31 March 1989
John Cossins CBEFarmer and Landowner. Former member of NFU Council31 March 1989
Dr. Peter Evans MA, PLD, DPhilReader in Estuarine Ecology, University of Durham31 March 1989
Sir Andrew Huxley OM FRSPhysiologist, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, President of Royal Society 1980–8531 March 1989
Professor John KnillProfessor of Engineering Geology31 March 1989
Miss Audrey Lees RIBA, FRTPI, FCIT, FRSAArchitect and Planner, Former Controller of Transportation and Development, GLC31 March 1988
Lord Middleton MC, DLFanner. Past President Country Landowners Association31 March 1989
Sir Hector Monro AE JP DL MPFormer Env. and Scottish Office Minister. Landowner31 March 1988
Prof Gareth Owen BSc, DSc, MRIA, FIBIOLZoologist, Principal, University College of Wales31 March 1988
Alexander TrotterEstate Manager and Farmer, Former Convenor of Scottish Landowners' Federation31 March 1989
NCC Committee for England
MemberBiographical DetailsExpiry of Appointment
Miss Audrey Lees, ChairmanSee above under details of Council Members31 March 1990
Dr. G. R. Potts BSc, PhDDirector of Research, Game Conservancy31 March 1989
Professor T O'Riordan FRSAProfessor of Environmental Sciences31 May 1987
Dr. D. Shaw BSc, PhDPro-Dean of the Faculty of Science, University of Liverpool31 March 1989
J. M. Stratton OBEFarmer and Landowner31 May 1987