Kingston Branch Unit 107-108,Kingston, London KT3 3ST

Change Of Use

Experienced In Change of Use For Land and Property Categories

Change Of Use  – Do You Need Planning Permission?

According to Town and Country Planning, it’s generally the case that you will need planning permission to change from one use class to another, although there are exceptions where the legislation does allow some changes between uses.

For example, A3 uses can change to A1 uses without the need for planning permission. However, if you are proposing to change the use of a premises or land, you should always seek advice from the local planning authority to confirm whether planning permission is required or not.

If you do require planning permission, you will need a change of use application form and to get in completed accurately before submission,

The following list gives an indication of the types of use which may fall within each use class. Please note that this is a guide only and it is for local planning authorities to determine, in the first instance, depending on the individual circumstances of each case, which use class a particular use falls into.

If you require support to gain a category change for your land and property, talking to an expert is valuable and saves you time. Here at Crystal Extension Architecture, we have decades of experience with successful change of use category changes.

Change of Use For Shopfront - Category

What Are The Common Categories For Land and Property?

Categories for Land and Property Use are shown below: These refers to the common categories and may vary slightly according to different local authorities you are approaching. It is intended for guidance only.

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 Cafés – 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).
B8 Storage or Distribution – This class includes open air storage.

C1 Hotels – 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.
C2A Secure Residential Institution – Use for a provision of secure residential accommodation, including use as a prison, young offenders institution, detention centre, secure training centre, custody centre, short term holding centre, secure hospital, secure local authority accommodation or use as a military barracks.
C3 Dwellinghouses – this class is formed of 3 parts:
C3(a) covers use by a single person or a family (a couple whether married or not, a person related to one another with members of the family of one of the couple to be treated as members of the family of the other), an employer and certain domestic employees (such as an au pair, nanny, nurse, governess, servant, chauffeur, gardener, secretary and personal assistant), a carer and the person receiving the care and a foster parent and foster child.
C3(b): up to six people living together as a single household and receiving care e.g. supported housing schemes such as those for people with learning disabilities or mental health problems.
C3(c) allows for groups of people (up to six) living together as a single household. This allows for those groupings that do not fall within the C4 HMO definition, but which fell within the previous C3 use class, to be provided for i.e. a small religious community may fall into this section as could a homeowner who is living with a lodger.
C4 Houses in multiple occupation – small shared houses occupied by between three and six unrelated individuals, as their only or main residence, who share basic amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom.

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).

Sui Generis – Certain uses do not fall within any use class and are considered ‘sui generis’. Such uses include: theatres, 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, amusement centres and casinos.

Do I Need Permission For A Change of Use Category?

As well as ensuring quality planning and construction standards for the UK, failure to get planning permission for your change of use category can prove costly. For example if you build something or renovate in a new use category, it can be ordered to be demolished and returned to the it’s previous use and structure. Also it can result in fines, penalties, so it goes without saying that it is essential to get permission for your construction work by submitting quality architectural plans with good designs and rationale for the change of use category.

Changes of Use Not Requiring Planning Permission

In many cases involving similar types of use, a change of use of a building or land does not need planning permission. Planning permission is not needed when both the present and proposed uses fall within the same ‘class’, or if the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order says that a change of class is permitted to another specified class (see table below).

For example, a greengrocer’s shop could be changed to a shoe shop without permission as these uses fall within the same ‘class’, and a restaurant could be changed to a shop or a estate agency as the Use Class Order allows this type of change to occur without requiring planning permission.

Most external building work associated with a change of use is likely to require planning permission.

How Do I Find The Use Category Of A Building?

Check with The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 and you will see the common categories listed.

For an individual land and property, check historical planning applications for more details of the category.

Local authorities tend not to hold a register, but historic architectural plans that have been submitted to local authorities for individual properties do show this.

Examples of Change Of Use

  • Change of Use Agricultural Land To Residential
  • Change of Use For A Premises
  • Change of Use D1 To Residential
  • Change of Use C1 Hotels – Hotels, boarding and guest houses to Residential

To discuss your requirements:

Contact Crystal Extension Architecture

Tel. 03333 44 0818




Kingston Office: Unit 107-108, Kingspark Business Centre,152-178, New Malden, London. KT3 3ST
0333 344 0818

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