In many cases, a change of use of a building or land does not require planning permission. For example, a greengrocer's can be changed to a shoe shop without permission. Planning permission is not required when both the present and proposed uses fall within the same "class" as defined in the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 2005. It is also possible to change use between some classes without making an application. Before you negotiate a lease or buy a property, it may be advisable to consider whether you need to obtain planning permission for your intended use and, if so, your chances of getting it.
The following classes of use are set out in the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 2005.
A1 - Shops
Shops, post offices, travel agents, hairdressers, funeral directors, dry cleaners
A2 - Financial and professional services
Banks, building societies, betting offices, and other financial and professional services.
A3 - Restaurants and cafes
Use for the sale of food for consumption on the premises.
A4 - Drinking establishments
Use as a Public House, Wine-Bar or other Drinking Establishment.
A5 - Hot food takeaway
Use for the sale of hot food for consumption off the premises.
B1 - Business
Offices, research and development, light industry appropriate in a residential area.
B2 - General industrial
Any business not falling within Use Class B1 (above).
B8 - Storage and Distribution (including open air storage)
Storage or Distribution Centres, Wholesale, Warehouses, Distribution Centres and Repositories.
C1 - Hotels
Hotels, boarding and guest houses where no significant element of care is provided.
C2 - Residential institutions
Residential care homes, hospitals, nursing homes, boarding schools, residential colleges and training centres.
C3 - Dwelling houses
Family houses, or houses occupied by up to six residents living together as a single household, including a household where care is provided for residents.
D1 - Non-residential institutions
Surgeries, nurseries, day centres, schools, art galleries, museums, libraries, halls, churches.
D2 - Assembly and leisure
Cinemas, concert halls, bingo and dance halls, casinos, swimming baths, skating rinks, gymnasiums or sports arenas (except for motor sports, or where firearms are used).
Permitted Use Class Changes
These changes of use are permitted by the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2005: