Firstplan is delighted to have won an appeal to allow the continued operation of a nail bar with ancillary retail, café and bar uses in Islington. The Inspector came to the view that the use did not conflict with Islington Local Plan policies seeking to protect Former Class A1 uses, and agreed that the use positively contributes to the vitality, viability and vibrancy of the town centre.
Significantly, the Inspector concluded that ‘a nail bar falls within Class E(c)(iii)’, recognising that nail bars have ‘clearly become a well-established feature of modern high streets’. The nail bar use was found to align with the purpose of the Use Classes overhaul in September 2020, which aimed to ‘better reflect the diversity of uses found on high streets and in town centres and to provide the flexibility for businesses to adapt and diversify to meet changing demands’. Nail bars had previously mainly been classified as sui generis uses so this change will provide greater opportunity for this type of use.
We are now seeing the impact of the introduction of Class E in appeal decisions. For example, the Inspector took into consideration the potential impacts of high-street retail units changing to other non-retail uses within Class E (such as financial services or gyms) without the requirement for planning permission, balancing this against policies seeking to maintain the retail functions of high streets and town centres.
We look forward to continuing our work with clients relating to Class E uses, and its unfolding impacts on our high streets. If you have any questions on Class E uses, or are seeking advice on an enforcement notice, please get in touch with the Firstplan team.