- 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
What to bear in mind when claiming damages in construction.
How do we achieve sustainable clean-water infrastructure for all?
What you should know when appointing an architect.
A brief history plus some new developments.
How computational fluid dynamics (CFD) helps building design.
The Hong Kong Harbour Area Treatment Scheme (HATS).
'Expressions of interest' for construction contracts.
Dame Judith Hackitt confirmed as keynote speaker – one year on from the Hackitt Report. Save £100 on tickets.
House of Lords committee calls for investment in housing, transport, education and infrastructure.
Supporting assets that are crucial to achieving business goals. Free download.
We've created a custom search engine for the construction industry. Let us know what you think.