||With increasing urbanisation, all member states of the EU have developed, in different ways, mechanisms for controlling land uses. The aims, broadly, are to resolve the conflicts that would result from unfettered market forces and to promote the development of urban areas in line with social and economic policy. For heavily populated countries, the protection of rural areas is also a concern as, increasingly, is the requirement to view developments in terms of their sustainability. Inherent in any land use planning system must be the ability to produce solutions that are appropriate to the continuing and changing needs of the population. It follows that the more urbanised the country, the greater the pressures to develop a land use planning system that is both robust and responsive. In EU terms this means that the countries with the greatest overall strain on the land use controls systems are likely to be Belgium, the UK and the Netherlands. All of these, it is argued (Balchin et al, 1999) have reached a point at which the urbanisation process has produced particular problems in terms, not of suburbanisation but of deurbanisation. This places pressure on major urban settlements in terms of the need for regeneration (DETR, 2000). If the consequent issues of this settlement pattern change are considered alongside the changes in the nature of economic and social activity , leading to the emergence of the so-called ‘experience economy’ (Gilmore and Pine, 1999) then the land use planning system needs also to be flexible. Within the UK the planning system is multi-tiered. The most detailed instrument of land use control, and that which therefore has the greatest need for flexibility is the ‘Use Classes Order’. This instrument details prescribed uses, classified by general type. It gives to the building owner and occupier certain rights to alter uses without the need for consent. The current system has been in place for many years, although it was amended in 1987. There is a view, recognised by government, that the current instrument may be outmoded and no longer reflective of the rapid social, economic and urban changes that have occurred. In particular the treatment of the new-style leisure properties is considered problematic. This paper will detail work in progress by the authors, on behalf of the Leisure Property Forum, to determine, by survey, the level of disquiet in the current system with a view to making recommendations for change. In reviewing the responses to the survey the authors will consider parallels with the experiences of the other heavily urbanised countries.