When purchasing a new property or business you should always check to see what type of planning it has and whether you would need to apply for another type to suit your business needs. Many people believe planning permission is only needed if you want to make structural changes to a property however it also covers the usage of the building.
See below a guide as to what each planning class falls under. Always check with the local authorities prior to negotiation.
- A1 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.
- 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).
- 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).
- C1 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.
- C2(a) 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 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(a) 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(b) 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.
- 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, 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).
If you require more information on planning permissions check with your local authority or go to Direct.gov/planning