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Change of Use Planning Permission

Use Classes

 The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended) puts uses of land and buildings into various categories known as 'Use Classes'.

The following list gives an indication of the types of use which may fall within each use class. Please note that this is a guide only and it's for local planning authorities to determine, in the first instance, depending on the individual circumstances of each case, which use class a particular use falls into.

This is an introductory guide and is not a definitive source of legal information. This guidance relates to the planning regime for England. Policy in Wales may differ. If in doubt contact your Local Planning Authority.


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 GPDO 1995 provides for 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 as a single flat, and from such a mixed use to Class A1 or Class A2 use provided the Class A1 or 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 in a class of its own. Any planning use not falling within specific class within the Use 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. It should be noted that permitted changes of use identified above are ratchet changes, i.e. cannot be made in reverse.

7. 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.

8. The above is intended as a general guide only. Reference must be made in the final instance to the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 as amended, the Use Classes Order 1987 as amended, The General Permitted Development Order 1995 as amended and Circular 03/2005. 



























































































 Use classes for commercial planning