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PLANNING UCO and GPDO consolidation looms

The Welsh Government has begun consultation on the potential consolidation of the Use Classes Order (UCO) and General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) regimes as well as changes to both.

Proposed revisions to the UCO would see existing use class A3 (food & drink) divided into three separate classes: A3 (cafe & sandwich bars subject to opening hour restrictions); A4 (drinking establishments & restaurants); and A5 (hot food takeaways including drive-through restaurants).

Also on the cards is the removal of betting offices from use class A2 so they become a unique use. This will enable the effects of each new betting office to be considered through the submission of a planning application.

The consultation also proposes to remove the need for planning permission for some minor developments to allow the planning system to concentrate on more complex development proposals.

Planned changes to permitted development rights include those affecting householder development, minor operations, houses in multiple occupation, statutory undertakers, demolition of buildings, fixed-line broadband services, renewable energy generation and small-scale hydropower.

“The UCO is now over 30 years old, and the GPDO is over 21 years old. Both have been subject to multiple amendments and revocations, not all of which apply to Wales, creating confusion for all users,” states the consultation document.

“To address the difficulty for the public to find up-to-date versions of the statutory instruments, and most importantly, the parts which are relevant to Wales, we propose to consolidate both the UCO and GPDO if the changes discussed in this document are made,” said the administration.

The consultation can be found here on the Welsh Government website.


Roger Milne, The Planner