HC Deb 07 July 1971 vol 820 cc1316-7
11. Mr. Worsley

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will amend the Use Classes Order so that planning permission would be required for a change of use from a shop to a restaurant or cafe.

Mr. Graham Page

I am considering this suggestion as part of a review of the Town and Country Planning Use Classes Order, 1963, but I am not yet in a position to announce any final decision.

Mr. Worsley

Is my hon. Friend aware that discussion of this matter has been going on for years, since I first raised it with the previous Government? Does he not think it is time that discussion ended and decisions were taken?

Mr. Page

It may have been going on for years with the previous Government. I initiated discussions with the local authority associations on this. I have received their replies, which are now being carefully considered.

Mr. Ashton

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that a great deal of distress is sometimes caused when a shop changes hands and becomes a restaurant or a café and a juke box is installed which plays loud music from early in the morning until late at night? Will he in the necessary legislation see whether it can be backdated so that changes which have taken place over the last few years have to be renewed every 12 months or so?

Mr. Page

It would be difficult to backdate it but I am conscious of the hardship caused when there is a change from an ordinary shop to a restaurant. I have under consideration other types of trade in shops which come under the same category, such as launderettes and fried food shops.