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Last edited 02 Jan 2020
Use class designation for land and buildings
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).
- A1. Shops - Shops, retail warehouses, hairdressers, undertakers, travel and ticket agencies, post offices, pet shops, sandwich bars, showrooms, domestic hire shops, dry cleaners, funeral directors and internet cafes
- A2. Financial and professional services - Financial services such as banks and building societies, professional services (other than health and medical services) and including estate and employment agencies. It does not include betting offices or pay day loan shops - these are now classed as “sui generis” uses (see below)
- A3. Restaurants and cafes - For the sale of food and drink for consumption on the premises - restaurants, snack bars and cafes
- A4. Drinking establishments - Public houses, wine bars or other drinking establishments (but not night clubs) including drinking establishments with expanded food provision
- A5. Hot food takeaways - For the sale of hot food for consumption off the premises
- B1. Business - Offices (other than those that fall within A2), research and development of products and processes, light industry appropriate in a residential area
- B2. General industrial - Use for industrial process other than one falling within class B1 (excluding incineration purposes, chemical treatment or landfill or hazardous waste)
- B3. Special industrial group A (registrable under the Alkali, etc. Works Regulation Act).
- B4. Special industrial group B (getting, dressing or treatment of minerals carried on, in, or adjacent to a quarry or mine).
- B5. Special industrial group C (burning bricks or pipes; burning lime or dolomite; producing zinc oxide, cement or alumina; foaming, crushing, screening or heating minerals or slag; processing pulverized fuel ash by heat; producing carbonate of lime or hydrated lime; producing inorganic pigments by calcining, roasting or grinding).
- B6. Special industrial group D (distilling, refining or blending oils; producing or using cellulose or using other pressure sprayed metal finishes; boiling linseed oil or running gum; the use of hot pitch or bitumen; stoving enamelled ware; producing aliphatic esters of the lower fatty acids, butyric acid, caramel, hexamine, iodoform, napthols, resin products, salicylic acid or sulphonated organic compounds; producing rubber from scrap; use of chlorphenols or chlorcresols as intermediates; manufacturing acetylene from calcium carbide; manufacturing, recovering or using pyridine or picolines, any methyl or ethyl amine or acrylates).
- B7. Special industrial group E (boiling blood, chitterlings, nettlings or soap; boiling, burning, grinding or steaming bones; boiling or cleaning tripe; breeding maggots; cleaning, adapting or treating animal hair; curing fish; dealing in rags and bones; dressing or scraping fish skins; drying skins; making manure; making or scraping guts; manufacturing animal charcoal, blood albumen, candles, catgut, glue, fish oil, size or feeding stuff for animals or poultry from meat, fish, blood, bone, feathers, fat or animal offal; melting, refining or extracting fat or tallow; preparing skins for working).
- B8. Storage or distribution - This class includes open air storage
- C1. Hotels and hostels - Hotels, boarding and guest houses where no significant element of care is provided (excludes hostels)
- C2. Residential institutions - Residential care homes, hospitals, nursing homes, boarding schools, residential colleges and training centres
- C3. Dwellinghouses
- D1. Non-residential institutions - Clinics, health centres, crèches, day nurseries, day centres, schools, art galleries (other than for sale or hire), museums, libraries, halls, places of worship, church halls, law court. Non-residential education and training centres
- D2. Assembly and leisure - Cinemas, music and concert halls, bingo and dance halls (but not night clubs), swimming baths, skating rinks, gymnasiums or area for indoor or outdoor sports and recreations (except for motor sports, or where firearms are used).
The description of these classes is for guidance only. It is the responsibility of the local planning authority to decide which class a use falls into, depending on its particular circumstances.
Certain uses do not fall within any use class and are considered 'sui generis'. Such uses include: betting offices/shops, pay day loan shops, theatres, larger houses in multiple 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, taxi businesses and casinos.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Ancillary uses of buildings.
- Article 4 direction.
- Avoiding planning permission pitfalls.
- Change of use class.
- Commercial premises.
- Detailed planning permission.
- Existing use value.
- Houses in multiple occupation.
- Meanwhile use.
- Mixed use development.
- National Planning Policy Framework.
- Non-domestic building.
- Outline planning permission.
- Permitted development.
- Planning enforcement.
- Planning permission.
- Sui generis.
- Sui generis and planning permission.
- Types of building.
- Types of room.
- Workplace definition.
- Zoning in the United States.
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