|by Howard Day|
of Howard Day
It’s likely that it will remain possible to move from a pub use to a restaurant use without planning permission, but that planning permission will be required to move from restaurant use to pub use.
Few restaurants are sold and then converted to pubs and bars, but where this does happen, post legislation, the deals would have to be subject to planning. With the new licensing reform coming into effect within the next 12 months, the local planning authority will also become the licensing authority, which could give the purchaser a difficult time. To retain value and maximum flexibility, it may be wise to seek a Certificate of Lawful Use after the new Use Classes Order comes into effect.
We expect the revised use classes to be as follows: A1: Retail shop (including internet cafés); A2: Financial services (eg, insurance brokers, estate agents); A3: Restaurants and cafés; A4: Public houses and bars; A5: Take-aways. A4 and A5 will be permitted a change of use to A1, A2, or A3, and it’s expected that class D will be amended to include a new class, D3, for late-night leisure (nightclubs).