The UK government have decided to reinvent the commercial use class ordering. Find the new use class 2020 guide here.
This fundamental change will be to Town Centre Use Classes, which will provide greater flexibility for changes in uses without the need for planning permission.
This will allow commercial units to change freely to other commercial uses . It will allow shops to change to gyms and restaurants to change to workspaces without consent.
This bold new thinking is needed to help our high streets survive. Our commercial spaces can re-position to adapt to market demand, but the prehistoric planning classifications prevented this.
We should however resist at all cost PD rights to convert high street commercial to poor quality residential and lose our town centres wayfinding and urban design that must be preserved for the next generation of commercial uses.
Markets are cyclical and the high street will return, but not if it has been forever lost to poor quality residential.