News Premises licence application

Published on June 20th, 2012 | by Dean Carr


Change of use leglislation

Use classes:

A1 – Shops
A2 – Financial and Professional Services
A3 – Restaurants and Cafes
A4 – Drinking Establishments
A5 – Hot Food Takeaways

B1 – Business
B2 – General Industry
B8 – Storage and Distribution

C1 – Hotels
C2 – Residential Institutions
C3 – Dwelling Houses

D1 – Non-residential institutions
D2 – Assembly and leisure

Change of class without planning permission:

Certain changes of use are permitted without planning permission. AlcoholLicence readers should remember that a premises licence is always required for the retail sale of alcohol.

A2 – permitted change to A1 where a ground floor display window exists

A3 – permitted change to A1 or A2

A4 – permitted change to A1, A2 or A3

A5 – permitted change to A1, A2 or A3

B1 – permitted change to B8 where no more than 235sq m

B2 – permitted change to B1 or B8 (B8 limited to 235sq m)

B8 – permitted change to B1 where no more than 235sq m

Change of class with planning permission:

Aside from the exceptions listed above, a change of use will require planning permission. A change of use to a drinking establishment (A4) always requires an application for planning permission, highlighting the careful regulation of pubs and bars. An off licence is classed as a shop (A1) not a drinking establishment (A4).

Sui generis:

Certain uses are considered separate to these categories, such as petrol stations, vetinary clinics and theatres, and are described as sui generis (of its own kind). AlcoholLicence readers should remember that the sale of alcohol from a petrol station shop is prohibited unless footfall and community usage can be proven. A night club is categorised as sui generis, so a change of use to a night club will always require planning permission.

Examples of sui generis uses are petrol filling stations, theatres and night-clubs. If your use is sui generis then unless you are taking over premises which already have specific planning permission for that use, you will always need planning permission before you commence trading.

Application for planning permission:

An application for planning permission can be made to your local council. For assistance with change of use and premises licence law, consult the PLT website.


About the Author

Dean Carr

Dean has been involved in alcohol licensing for over 20 years and has helped many independent retailers and corporate clients obtain a licence to sell alcohol or offer late night refreshment, regulated entertainment from all sorts of premises. Dean writes articles for various trade related blogs and is currently Managing Director of the PLT group of companies who run APLH and SCPLH personal alcohol licence courses nationwide. You can contact Dean or a member of his expert licensing team on: 01242 222 188

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