.
Welcome to Simply-Docs

Using commercial property for different purposes

Different uses of commercial property

What is the permitted use?

All commercial land and buildings have a particular “permitted use”. This can mean a use permitted by the lease. It can also refer to the use permitted under planning law. The lease often makes reference to the categories of use set out in planning legislation so it makes sense to consider permitted planning uses first.

From 1 September 2020, the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended) provides for different use classes for England and Wales respectively. We therefore set out each use class regime separately below. There are rules about changing from one use class to another – sometimes planning permission is required, sometimes a change can be made without planning permission. The rules are considered in more detail in the following pages.

Planning law – use classes in England

The main classes for landlords to note are:

• Class B2 – industrial uses not covered in class E

• Class B8 – wholesale warehouses, distribution centres and repositories

• Class E – shops, restaurants, financial and professional services for visiting members of the public, indoor sports facilities, healthcare premises for visiting members of the public, day nurseries and day centres, offices, research and development uses and light industry suitable to a residential area

• Class F1 – learning and non-residential institutions including schools, museums and libraries

• Class F2 – local community shops, community halls, outdoor sports facilities and swimming pools.

Planning law – use classes in Wales

The main classes for landlords to note are:

• Class A1 – shops

• Class A2 - financial and professional services for visiting members of the public

• Class A3 – premises where food is sold and consumed on the premises

• Class A4 – pubs, wine bars or other drinking establishments

• Class A5 – sale of hot food for consumption off the premises

• Class B1(a) – offices

• Class B1(b) – research and development uses

• Class B1(c) – light industry suitable to a residential area

• Class B2 – other industrial uses

• Class B8 – wholesale warehouses, distribution centres and repositories

• Class D2 – sport and leisure.

Permitted use clauses in leases

Permitted use clauses (sometimes called user clauses) in leases often make reference to the classes of use in the Use Classes Order. A lease may define the permitted use broadly, for example, “any use within class E(a)” for a retail use in England or “any use within class A1” for a retail use in Wales. Alternatively, a lease may specify a very particular use, for example, “as a post office”, and require the landlord’s written consent to any other use.

Top
Simply-Docs uses cookies to ensure that you get the best experience on our website. Learn more