We were at central government last week to chat to BIZ and CLG for the review of the handling of Change of Use Classes and the Planning Permission. It was very interesting to delve deeper into the planning uses and how they work and we were very happy to learn there is some flexibility within the classes that allows you to move from certain uses to others without the need for planning permission.
Apparently it is always best to check with your local authority planning team, but you shouldn't need to submit an application for change of use. This is to do with the impacts on people or the building, where lower down each class ie A5 (takeaways) are more impactful that A1 (retail). In a nutshell, you can drift 'upwards' within a class but not down without notification.
This document outlines the use classes and permitted changes. Any experience/comments anyone has of these permitted alterations, we are keen to hear them.