Call Us Now
+44 (0)7974 035 035
Opening times
Mon - Sat: 08:00AM - 19:00PM

Planning Application

Building Use Classes

PremPlan - Bookcase

What Are Building Use Classes?

Properties are categorised into one of four usages (Class A,B,C or D) and it is these classes that determine what you can legally do with a property and essentially what it can be used for. When considering a change of use you will firstly need to know what class the property currently has and what you would like it to be used for in the future. In doing this we can identify which class is most suitable for your property.

Please see below for an outline on the various classes:


Class A Uses
  • Class A1 - Shops
  • Class A2 - Financial and Professional
  • Class A3 - Restaurants and Cafes
  • Class A4 - Drinking Establishments
  • Class A5 - Hot Food Take Aways
Class B Uses
  • Class B1 - Business
  • Class B2 - General Industrial
  • Class B3 - Special Industrial Group A
  • Class B4 - Special Industrial Group B
  • Class B5 - Special Industrial Group C
  • Class B6 - Special Industrial Group D
  • Class B7 - Special Industrial Group E
  • Class B8 - Storage Or Distribution
Class C Uses
  • Class C1 - Hotels and Hostels
  • Class C2 - Residential Institutions
  • Class C3 - Dwellings, Houses, Flats, Apartments
  • Class C4 - Houses In Multiple Occupations
  • Class Sui Generis - Does Not Fall Into Any Class
Class D Uses
  • Class D1 - Non-Residential Institutions
  • Class D2 - Assembly and Leisure

Change Of Use

Change of use within the same class does not usually qualify as a development and therefore does not require planning permission.

Changes between classes and orders do require planning permission. However under the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) there are certain changes between classes which are permitted without the need of planning permission. These are as follows;

From To
A2 Professional and Financial Service - When premises have a display window at ground level A1 (shop)
A3 Restaurants and Cafes A1 or A2
A4 Drinking Establishments A1 or A2 or A3
A5 Hot Food Takeaways A1 or A2 or A3
B1 Business (up to 235 square metres of floor space) B8 (storage and distribution)
B2 General Industrial B1 (business)
B2 General Industrial (up to 235 square metres of floor space) B8 (storage and distribution)
B8 Storage and Distribution (up to 235 square metres of floor space) B1 (business)

Any changes outside of the Use Class as well as structural changes do require planning permission.