- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 10 Nov 2017
Sui generis and planning permission
The different use classes are set out in the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987. This stipulates that in terms of planning permission, if a use of land is to change within a use class, then this does not require planning permission. However, planning permission is usually needed where the change of use involves activities within the sui generis category. These include theatres, petrol filling stations, casinos, amusement centres, car hire businesses, and so on. See Sui generis for more information.
There are, however, permitted development rights that allow movement between some sui generis uses and other uses. There is a common misconception that changing the use from an existing use class to a sui generis class always requires planning permission. Permission is only required if the sui generis use is materially different from the existing one.
If there is any doubt, a lawful development certificate can be applied for. This must include a detailed and unambiguous description of the use, operations or other matter for which it is to be granted. The characteristics of the matter should be spelled out in detail to avoid future problems of interpretation.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Exploring local assets of community significance. Book review.
Wood-burning stoves should not be used in thatch-roofed buildings.
Servitisation, smart systems and connectivity.
What happens to the Construction Products Regulation if there is no Brexit deal.
The first step to long-term prosperity.
The status and rights of employees in construction
Continuing to share environmental best practice
The employee assistance programme EAP
HMRC's Construction Industry Scheme
What 'net-zero emissions' means for civil engineers
The meaning of Rw and Dw/DnTw