Changes to planning law that came into effect on 15 April 2015 will make it easier for several types of business to change the use of their premises as the rules that apply to the grant of planning permission for change of use between different use classes have been relaxed. For example, a change from class A3 (restaurants and cafés) to class A1 (most retail purposes, hairdressers, domestic hire shops, dry cleaners and several other uses) no longer requires planning permission. Nor does a change from class A3 to class A2 (financial and professional services).
There are a number of other changes, designed to make it easier for premises to be repurposed without undue delay.
Changes of use within an existing use class will continue not to require planning permission.
For more information, see the Government planning portal.