Commercial Property Use Classes: England & Wales

Commercial Property Use Classes: England & Wales

This table explains the use classes of all commercial property in England & Wales;

Use ClassDescriptionPermitted Change
A1 ShopsShops, retail warehouses, hairdressers, undertakers, travel and ticket agencies, post office, pet shops, sandwich bars, showrooms, domestic hire shops, dry cleaners, funeral directors and internet cafes.A2, or up to 150m2 subject to prior approval, or up to 200m2 D2 subject to prior approval and only if the premises was in A1 use on 5thDecember 2013. A mixed use comprising of A1 or A2 use and up to 2 flats may also be permitted subject to meeting certain conditions. C3 if the cumulative floor space of the building is under 150m2 subject to prior approval
A2 Financial and Professional Services (when premises have a display window at ground level,
but excluding betting offices or
pay day loan shops)
Financial services such as banks and building societies, professional services (other than health and medical services) and including estate and employment agencies (excluding betting offices or pay day loan shops – these are classed as “Sui Generis”).A1 or up to 150m2 A3 subject to prior approval, or up to 200m2 D2 subject to prior approval and only if the premises was in A2 use on 5thDecember 2013. A mixed use comprising on A1 or A2 use and up to 2 flats may also be permitted subject to meeting certain conditions. C3 if the cumulative floor space of the building is under 150m2 and subject to prior approval.
A3 Restaurants & CafesFor the sale of food and drink for consumption on the premises – restaurants, snack bars and cafes.A1 or A2
A4 Drinking establishmentsPublic houses, wine bars or other drinking establishments (excluding night clubs).A1 or A2 or A3 except buildings that may be defined as “community assets”.
A5 Hot food takeawaysFor the sale of hot food for consumption off the premisesA1, A2 or A3
B1 BusinessOffices (other than A2), research & development pf products and processes, light industry appropriate in a residential area.Up to 500m2 B8
B2 General IndustrialFor industrial process (other than B1, excluding incineration purposes, chemical treatment or landfill/hazardous waste).B1 or up to 500m2B8
B8 Storage and DistributionWholesale warehouses, distribution centres and repositories (including open air storage).Up to 500m2 B1
C1 HotelHotels, boarding and guest houses where no significant element of care is provided (excluding hostels).No permitted change.
C2 Residential InstitutionsResidential care homes, hospitals, nursing homes, boarding schools, residential colleges and training centres.No permitted change.
C2A Secure residential institutionFor the provision of secure residential accommodation (including prisons, young offenders institutions, detention centres, secure training centres, custody centres, short term holding centres, secure hospitals, secure local authority accommodation or military barracks).No permitted change.
C3 Dwelling housesThis class is formed of 3 parts:-C3 (a) covers use by a single person or family
-C3 (b) up to six people living together as a single household and receiving care.
-C3 (c) allows for groups of people (up to six) living together as a single household.
C4
C4 Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)Small shared houses occupied by between three and six unrelated individuals, as their only or main residence, who share basic amenities such as kitchen or bathroom.C3
D1 Non-residential institutionsClinics, 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.No permitted change.
D2 Assembly & LeisureCinemas, music and concert halls, bingo and dance halls (excluding night clubs), swimming baths, skating rinks, gymnasiums or areas for indoor or outdoor sports and recreation (excluding motor sports, or where firearms are used).No permitted change.
Sui Generis Casinos & Amusement ArcadesCertain uses do not fall within any use class and are considered ‘Sui Generis’. Such uses include: betting offices/shops, payday loan shops, 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 warehouses clubs, nightclubs, launderettes, taxi businesses, amusement centres and casinos.D2, or only if existing building is under 150m2A3 or subject to prior approval.C3 if the cumulative floor space of the building is under 150m2 and subject to prior approval.
Sui Generis Betting offices & Pay Day Loan ShopsA1 or A2. C3 if the cumulative floor space of the building is under 150m2 and subject to prior approval.A mixed use comprising a betting office or a pay day loan shop, or an A1 or A2 use and up to 2 flats may also be permitted subject to meeting certain conditions.
Sui Generis Agricultural BuildingsA1, A2, A3, B1, B8, C1, C3, D2, all subject to meeting relevant criteria and prior approval.

*Source: CoStar

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