Using commercial premises for offices or industrial purposes

Offices and Industrial Premises


Use of premises as an office, factory, laboratory or warehouse

Use of commercial premises as offices or for industrial purposes comes within use class B of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended). Specific uses are:

• Class B1(a) – offices

• Class B1(b) – research and development uses, such as laboratories and studios

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

• Class B2 – other industrial uses

• Class B8 – wholesale warehouses, distribution centres and repositories.

Can I change the permitted use?

Changes of use within use class B1, for example from offices to a light industrial use, do not require planning permission. In addition, a change from B1 use to use within class B8 can be made without planning permission, so long as the floor space does not exceed 500m2. Furthermore, a change from class B1(a) to C3 (dwelling house) use is permitted, subject to conditions. From 1st October 2017, it will also be possible to change use from class B1(c) to C3 without planning permission, subject to conditions. Other changes of use require planning permission.

Changes of use within use class B2, for example from one industrial use to another, do not require planning permission. A change to use within class B1 or class B8 can be made without planning permission (so long, in the case of B8 use, as the floor space does not exceed 500m2). Other changes of use require planning permission.

Changes of use within use class B8, for example from a warehouse to a distribution centre, do not require planning permission. A change to use within class B1 can be made without planning permission, so long as the floor space does not exceed 500m2. In addition, a change to C3 (dwelling house) use is permitted until 15 April 2018, subject to conditions. Other changes of use require planning permission.

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