It is a key tenet of planning law, as reflected in the Planning
and Building (Jersey) Law 2002 (the Planning Law),
that a material change of use of land requires planning permission.
For many years, however, the Jersey planning legislation has
provided for specific exemptions from this general rule, in the
form of use classes. The principle is that a change of use from one
of the uses specified in a particular class to another use
specified in that class does not require permission. In addition,
changes of use by way of moving from certain specified classes to
other specified classes have similarly been exempted from the
general requirement to obtain planning permission.
The Planning and Building (General Development) (Amendment No.
2) (Jersey) Order 2015 (the 2015 Amendment), which
came into force on 13 January 2016, has overhauled the use class
regime. The use classes are now as set out in Appendix A to this
note. They include an entirely new use class (Class M, late-night
drinking and entertainment venues) and the contents of the revised
classes reflect the evolution of society over recent years. For
example, Class H (sport and fitness) specifically includes personal
fitness training, yoga and pilates; Class K (medical and welfare)
specifically includes acupuncture and massage; both Class B
(restaurants and cafés) and Class M (late-night drinking and
entertainment venues) make specific reference to al fresco
Furthermore, the 2015 Amendment also revises and expands the
list of permitted switches between one particular use class and
another, as set out in Appendix B to this note.
It is important to remember that not all uses of land fall
within a specified use class, some uses being what is referred to
as sui generis, that is to say of their own kind. A change
of use to or from a sui generis use, unless the new use is
not materially different to the existing permitted use, will
require planning permission. Moreover, there are changes from
particular use classes to others that do still require planning
permission. Nevertheless, the 2015 Amendment has modernised and
liberalised the use class regime, enabling the planning authorities
to focus on proposed changes of use which the States consider
should remain subject to regulation by the operation of the
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