Published on June 20th, 2012 | by Dean Carr
Change of use leglislation
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).
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.