Guide to Commercial Use Classes Order

Guide to Use Classes Order
and Permitted Changes of Use
(England and Wales)

Use Classes
Order 1987
(see note 1)
Use Classes
Order 1972
DescriptionGeneral Development
Order 1988
(see note 2)
A1
Shops
Class IShops, retail warehouses, hairdressers, undertakers, travel and ticket agencies, post offices, dry cleaners, etc

Pet shops, cats-meat shops, tripe shops, sandwich bars

Showrooms, domestic hire shops, funeral directors

No permitted change
(see note 3)
A2
Financial and
Professional
Services
Class IIBanks, building societies, estate and employment agencies

Professional and financial services, betting offices

Permitted change to A1 where a ground floor
display window exists
(see note 3)
A3
Food and Drink
Restaurants, pubs, snack bars, cafés, wine bars, shops for sale of hot foodPermitted change to A1 or A2
Sui Generis
(see note 4)
Shops selling and/or displaying motor vehicles


Launderettes, taxi or vehicle hire businesses, amusement centres, petrol filling stations
Permitted change to A1


No permitted change
B1
Business
(see note 5)
Class II





Class III
Offices, not within A2

Research and development studios, laboratories, high tech

Light industry

Permitted change to B8 where no more than 235sqm
B2
General Industrial
(see note 6)
Class IV-IXGeneral industrialPermitted change to B1 or B8
B8 limited to no more than 235 sqm
B8
Storage and distribution
Class XWholesale warehouse, distribution centres, repositoriesPermitted change to B1 where no more than 235 sqm
Sui Generis
(see note 4)
N/AAny work registrable under the Alkali, etc. Works Regulation Act, 1906No permitted change
C1
Hotels
(see note 7)
Class XIHotels, boarding and guest housesNo permitted change
C2
Residential Institutions
Class XII

Class XIV

Residential schools and colleges

Hospitals and convalescent/nursing homes

No permitted change
C3
Dwelling Houses
(see note 8)
N/ADwellings, small businesses at home, communal housing of elderly and handicappedNo permitted change
Sui Generis
(see note 4)
N/AHostelNo permitted change
D1
Non-residential Institutions
Class XIII

Class XV


Class XVI

Places of worship, church halls

Clinics, health centres, crèches, day nurseries, consulting rooms

Museums, public halls, libraries, art galleries, exhibition halls

Non-residential education and training centres

No permitted change
D2
Assembly and Leisure
Class XVII

Class XVIII


Cinemas, music and concert halls

Dance, sports halls, swimming baths, skating rinks, gymnasiums

Other indoor and outdoor sports and leisure uses, bingo halls, casinos

No permitted change
Sui Generis
(see note 4)
Class XVIITheatresNo permitted change

NOTES

  1. Changes of use within a specific class do not require planning permission provided that: the use subsists; the planning permission has been implemented; and no restrictive condition is attached to the consent
  2. The permitted development rights shown in the final column do not require planning permission where all criteria set out in the Order are met and no restrictive conditions apply
  3. The General Development (Amendment) Order 1995 provides for the permitted change of use of a building from Class A1 or Class A2 to a mixed use for the purposes of either Class A1 or Class A2 and as a single flat, and from such a mixed use to Class A1 or Class A2 use provided the Class A1 or Class A2 use is situated on a floor below the single flat and various other conditions are met.
  4. Sui Generis is a term which refers to a use on its own. Any planning use not falling within a specific class within the Classes Order falls within this category.
  5. A B1 use must be capable of being undertaken "in any residential area without detriment to the amenity of that area by reason of noise, vibration, smell, fumes, smoke, soot, ash, dust or grit".
  6. The Use Classes (Amendment) Order 1995 amends the 1987 Order by omitting Classes B4 - B7 (special industrial groups B - E). Industrial processes previously within these classes now fall within Class B2 (general industrial).
  7. A C1 use is defines as a hotel or a boarding or guest house where, in each case, no significant element of care is provided.
  8. Six or less residents unless living together as a family.
  9. It should be noted that permitted changes of use identified above are ratchet changes, i.e. cannot be made in reverse.
  10. Various other permitted development rights exist for, inter alia, industrial and warehouse buildings, dwelling houses, agricultural buildings, schools, colleges, universities, hospitals and development by statutory undertakers.
  11. The above is intended as a general guide only. Reference must be made in the final instance to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as amended, the Use Classes Order 1987 as amended, and the General Development Order 1988 as amended.



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