Using commercial premises for the sale and consumption of food and drink

Restaurant and Café Premises


Food and drink uses – cafés and restaurants

There are three use classes referred to in the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended) that cover use of premises for the sale and consumption of food and drink:

• Class A3 covers premises where food is sold and consumed on the premises, i.e. restaurants and cafés. (Internet cafés are not included in this class as they fall within class A1.)
• Class A4 relates to use as a pub, wine bar or other drinking establishment.
• Class A5 covers use of premises for the sale of hot food for consumption off the premises, i.e. takeaways.

Can I change the permitted use?

Changes of use within use class A3, for example from a restaurant to a cafe, do not require planning permission. In addition, a change to use within class A1 (shops) or A2 (financial and professional) can be made without planning permission. Other changes of use require planning permission.

Changes of use within use class A4, for example from a pub to a wine bar, do not require planning permission. In addition, a change to use within class A1 (shops), A2 (financial and professional) or A3 can be made without planning permission. Other changes of use require planning permission.

Changes of use within use class A5, for example from a Chinese takeaway to a pizza takeaway, do not require planning permission. In addition, a change to use within class A1 (shops), A2 (financial and professional) or A3 can be made without planning permission. Other changes of use require planning permission.

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