In September 2020 the Use Classes Regulations were amended to include Use Classes E and F. The former A1 retail, A3 cafe, B1 office as well as parts of D1 and D2, now all fall under Use Class E. Change of use within Use Class E is not considered to be development and does not require planning permission (or Prior Approval). However, most car and cycle parking standards are still based on the old Use Classes, so how should we apply them to a proposal for 1000sqm of Use Class E? It would appear to be a simple matter of applying the ‘worst case’ but the requirements for short and long-stay cycle parking are very different for, say, office and retail. Similarly, car parking standards may be maximum, so what is the worst case? In addition, any Transport Assessment must consider the transport effects of each of the potential uses. Again, what would we mean by ‘worst case’? Some uses may generate more travel across the day, and others more during the peaks. Some may generate more vehicle traffic, but others may have a greater effect on public transport.
How should we assess the transport effects of the very flexible Use Classes E and F?