Change of use

The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 puts uses of land and buildings into various categories known as use classes.

It is 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.

Before you negotiate a lease or buy a property for your business, you should check whether you need to obtain planning permission for your intended use and, if so, your chances of getting it.

Use Classes

The Planning Portal provides a list of Use Classes, giving an indication of the types of use which may fall within each class. Please note that this is a guide only and it is for us to determine which use class a particular use falls into.

Permitted change of use

Planning permission is not needed when the existing and the proposed uses fall within the same use class, or if The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 says that a change of use to another specified use class is permitted.

While a change of use might not need permission, any external building work associated with a change of use may still require planning permission, Building Regulation Consent and/or Listed Building Consent.

Some changes of use are permitted development subject to prior notification.

The Planning Portal provides a helpful guide to permitted change of use.

Pre-application advice

If you require advice before you submit an application for a change of use, please use our pre-application planning advice service. Pre-application advice will generally give you greater clarity and certainty by identifying planning issues and requirements before the application is submitted.

Application forms