Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Order)

This Order revokes and replaces the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1972 as amended by the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment) Order 1983.

This Order specifies classes of use of buildings or other land for the purposes of section 22(2)(f) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971. Section 22(2) specifies operations or uses which are not to be taken for the purposes of the Act as involving development, and which therefore do not require planning permission. Paragraph (f) provides that a change of use is not to be regarded as involving development where the former use and the new use are both within the same class specified in an order made under that paragraph.

Various changes are made in this Order to the classes of use specified in the Schedule to the 1972 Order.

Class I of the 1972 Order specified use as a shop (which expression was defined in the Order) subject to specific exclusions. The specific exclusions of tripe shops, cats-meat shops and pet shops are no longer to be found in the new shops class A1. Use for the sale of hot food is now to be found in the new class A3 (food and drink) and is excluded specifically from class A1. The former exclusion of use for the sale of motor vehicles is now in article 3(6)(e).

Class A2 is a new class of use for financial, professional and other services. This combines some of the office uses formerly in Class II, and some uses formerly within the definition of “shop” as being uses of buildings for a purpose appropriate to a shopping area. The test of appropriateness to a shopping area governs the whole of class A2.

Class A3 (food and drink) is a new class. It combines use for the sale of hot food, which was formerly excluded from Class I, with use as a restaurant or for the sale of drink.

Class B1 combines some of the office uses formerly within Class II with uses for light industrial purposes formerly within Class III into a business class. It also includes use for the research and development of products or processes. A test similar to that which formerly applied to Class III — that is a use which could be carried out in any residential area without detriment to the amenity of that area — now governs all the purposes in this class.

Class B2 (general industrial) reflects the old Class IV.

Classes B3 to B7 reflect old Classes V to IX (Special Industrial Groups (A) to (E)). Although there has been some reorganisation, the content of these classes is the same.

Class B8 (storage and distribution) is based on former Class X but extends additionally to use of open land and to use as a centre for distribution.

Class C1 (hotels and hostels) largely reflects the former Class XI but makes it clear that this class does not cover any residential establishment where a significant element of care (defined in article 2) is provided.

Class C2 (residential institutions) combines the former Classes XII and XIV.

Class C3 (dwellinghouses) is a new class which comprises use as a dwellinghouse by an individual, by people living together as a family or by not more than six residents living together as a single household. In the case of people living together as a household rather than as a family, the use will continue to be within the class notwithstanding that an element of care (as defined in article 2) is provided for residents. The intention of this class is to include, for example, use as a dwellinghouse by individuals living together in the community who have formerly been in an institution of some kind.

Class D1 includes the uses formerly contained in Classes XIII, XV and XVI. Dispensaries are no longer included, and these will be either within class A1 (shops) or, where ancillary to a hospital, within class C2 residential institutions. Class D2 (assembly and leisure) includes uses formerly in Classes XVII and XVIII. It has been extended to include use for all indoor or outdoor sports with the exception of motor sports and sports involving firearms. Theatres which were formerly in Class XVII are no longer included in any of the classes (see article 3(6)).

One difference between this Order and the 1972 Order is that in Parts A and B of the Schedule to this Order the uses specified are uses of buildings or land whereas their equivalents in the 1972 Order specified uses of buildings. There are also more uses specifically excluded from the classes, and these are listed in article 3(6) of the Order.

Paragraph 1 of Schedule 11 to the Housing and Planning Act 1986 amended section 22(2)(f) of the 1971 Act by providing that a change of use of part of any building or land is not a material change of use where the former use and the latter use of the part are within the same class, subject to the provisions of an order made under that paragraph. Article 4 of the Order provides that use as a separate dwellinghouse of any part of a building or of land used for the purposes of class C3 (dwellinghouses) is not by virtue of this Order to be taken as not amounting to development.