Use of bare land
Bare land has many uses. It may be used for agricultural, recreational or
business purposes (including car parking). It can also be used for fairs
and markets and other short-term uses.
No planning permission is required to use land for agricultural purposes. A
change of use from agriculture to another type of use is likely to require
Sports and leisure uses
Use of land for outdoor sport or recreation falls within use class F2, the
“local community” class which is designed to protect community assets by
preventing changes of use.
Car parking – a use in itself or ancillary to another use?
Car parking may be ancillary to another use (e.g. for staff or customers at
office, industrial or shop premises). If so, the car park use will fall
within the main use class (i.e. E for an office or shop car park, B2 for a
factory car park, etc.).
Use of land for a commercial car park is likely to be a “sui generis” use,
i.e. a use which does not fall within any of the use classes, meaning that
a specific planning permission is required for a change to and from such
Do I need planning permission to hold a fair or festival?
In planning law there is a “28 day” rule that allows land to be used for
any purpose for not more than 28 days in a calendar year without the need
to obtain planning permission. This can be useful for the organisers of
fairs, festivals and temporary campsites. The 28 day rule does not apply to
domestic land (e.g. a private garden or driveway) and there are various
exceptions to the rule. Take care, therefore, to ensure that the rule
applies to your proposed use before you rely on it.