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 class||Proposed class|
|Class 2 - Financial, professional and other services||Class 1 - Shops|
|Class 3 - Food and drink||Class 1 - Shops|
|Sui generis - Sales of hot food for takeaway||Class 1 - Shops or Class 2 - Financial, professional and other services|
|Sui generis - Sales of motor vehicles with floor area not exceeding 235sqm||Class 1 - Shops|
|Class 3 - Food and drink||Class 2 - Financial, professional and other services|
|Class 5 - General industrial||Class 4 - Business|
|Class 6 - Storage or distribution||Class 4 - Business|
|Class 4 - Business||Class 6 - Storage or distribution|
|Class 5 - General industrial||Class 6 - Storage of distribution|