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Changing the use of buildings or land

Check whether you need to obtain planning permission before you negotiate a lease, buy a property for your business or change your present use.

Buildings and land are grouped into 11 classes depending on how they are used:

There are numerous uses of buildings or land that don't fall into a particular class and these are assessed on a case by case basis.

Changes of use within the same class

If a building or land changes its use but the new use falls within the same class then planning permission isn't needed unless this right has been previously removed. This also applies to subdividing a non-residential premises if its use stays within the same class.

Material changes may need planning permission.

Changes of use to another class

Some buildings and land can change class without planning permission unless this right has been previously removed.

Uses that don't fall within any class are known as 'sui generis'.

Current classPropopsed class
Class 2 - Financial, professional and other servicesClass 1 - Shops
Class 3 - Food and drinkClass 1 - Shops
Sui generis - Sales of hot food for takeawayClass 1 - Shops or Class 2 - Financial, professional and other services
Sui generis - Sales of motor vehicles with floor area not exceeding 235sqmClass 1 - Shops
Class 3 - Food and drinkClass 2 - Financial, professional and other services
Class 5 - General industrialClass 4 - Business
Class 6 - Storage or distributionClass 4 - Business
Class 4 - BusinessClass 6 - Storage or distribution
Class 5 - General industrialClass 6 - Storage of distribution

 

Page last updated: 23/11/17