Whatever type of commercial property in London you may be looking for, please see below a Use Class Guide detailing the classifications of the various types of commercial property.
Summary Guide to Use Classes Order and Permitted Changes of Use
|Use Classes OrderInc. 2005 Amendment (See note 1)||Use Classes Order 1972||Description||General Permitted Development (Amendment) Order 2005 (see note 2)|
|A1 Shops (see note 3)||Class I||Shops, Retail Warehouses,
Travel & Ticket Agencies,
Post Offices, Dry cleaners,
Internet Cafes etc.
|No permitted changes|
Pet Shops, Cat-meat shops, Tripe shops, Sandwich bars,
No permitted changes
|A2 Financial and Professional
Services (see note 3)
|Class II||Banks, Building Societies, Estate & Employment Agencies, Professional & Financial Services, Betting Offices||Permitted change to A1 where a ground floor display window exists|
|A3 Restaurants & Cafes||Restaurants, Snack Bars, Cafes||Permitted change to
A1 or A2
|A4 Drinking Establishments||Pubs or bars||Permitted change to A1, A2 or A3|
|A5 Hot Food Takeaways||Hot food takeaways||Permitted change to A1, A2 or A3|
|Sui Generis (see note 4)||Shops selling and/or Displaying Motor Vehicles, Retail Warehouse Clubs, Launderettes, Taxi or Vehicle Hire Businesses, Amusement Centres, Petrol Filling Stations||No permitted changes|
|B1 Business (see note 5)||Class II
|Offices, not within A2||Permitted change to B8 where no more than 235m2|
|(b)||Research and Development, Studios, Laboratories, High Technology||Permitted change to B8 where no more than 235m2|
|Light Industry||Permitted change to B8 where no more than 235m2|
|B2 General Industry (see note 6)||Class IV-IX||General Industry||Permitted change to B1 or B8 B8 limited to no more than 235m2|
|B8 Storage or Distribution||Class X||Wholesale Warehouses, Distribution Centres, Repositories||Permitted change to B1 where no more than 235m2|
|Sui Generis||Any works registerable under the Alkali, etc. Works Regulation Act 1906||No Permitted change|
|C1 Hotels (see note 7)||Class XI||Hotels, Boarding and Guest Houses||No Permitted change|
|C2 Residential Institutions||Class XII||Residential Schools and Colleges||No Permitted change|
|Class XIV||Hospitals and Convalescent / Nursing homes||No Permitted change|
|C3 Dwelling Houses (see note 8)||Dwellings, small businesses at home, communal housing of elderly and handicapped people||No Permitted change|
|Sui Generis||Sui Generis||No Permitted change|
|D1 Non-residential Institutions||Class XIII||Places of Worship, Church Halls||No Permitted change|
|Class XV||Clinics, Health Centres, Crèches, Day Nurseries, Consulting Rooms||No Permitted change|
|Class XVI||Museums, Public Halls, Libraries, Art Galleries, Exhibition Halls||No Permitted change|
|Non – residential Education and Training Centres||No Permitted change|
|D2 Assembly and Leisure||Class XVII||Cinemas, Music and Concert Halls||No Permitted change|
|Class XVIII||Dance, Sports Halls, Swimming Baths, Skating Rinks, Gymnasiums||No Permitted change|
|Other Indoor and Outdoor Sports and Leisure Uses, Bingo Halls, Casinos||No Permitted change|
|Sui Generis (See note 4)||Class XVII||Theatres, Night-Clubs||No Permitted change|
- The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 is the principle order which has been subject to a number of subsequent amendments. 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. The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Amendment (England) Order 2005 introduced new A4 and A5 classes and placed motor car showrooms and night clubs in Sui Generis category.
- The permitted development rights shown in the final column do not require planning permission where all the criteria set out in the order are met and no restrictive conditions apply.
- The General Permitted Development Order 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 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.
- Sui Generis is a term, which refers to a use on its own. Any planning use not falling within a specific class within the Use Classes Order falls within this category.
- 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”.
- 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).
- A C1 use is defined as a hotel or a boarding or guesthouse where, in each case, no significant element of care is provided.
- Six or less residents unless living together as a family.
- It should be noted that permitted changes of use identified above are ratchet changes, i.e. cannot be made in reverse.
- 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.
- 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 (Amendment) Order 2005, and General Permitted Development (Amendment) Order 2005 and written confirmation obtained from the Local Planning Authority that no consent is required.