Last edited 15 Dec 2014

Sui generis use class in planning

The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order categorises uses of land and buildings. Developments may not be used for purposes that are not within the use class for which they received planning permission. Changing the use of a development from one class to another may require planning permission, although changes of use may be permitted without the need for a planning application for certain allowable uses (for example changing a restaurant into a shop - see permitted development).

Sui generis’ buildings are those that do not fall within any particular use class. The Latin term 'sui generis' means ‘of its own kind’.

Sui generis buildings include:

  • Theatres.
  • Houses in multiple paying occupation.
  • Hostels providing no significant element of care.
  • Scrap yards.
  • Petrol filling stations and shops selling and / or displaying motor vehicles.
  • Retail warehouse clubs.
  • Nightclubs.
  • Launderettes.
  • Dry cleaners.
  • Taxi businesses.
  • Amusement centres.
  • Casinos.

A material change of use from a sui generis use, or to a sui generis use, will require planning permission.

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