WHAT IS CLASS B PLANNING USEAGE?
DO I NEED PLANNING PERMISSION TO CHANGE TO OR FROM CLASS B USE?
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Today we take a look at planning use classes that cover various forms of warehouse and industrial use – the B Class planning uses.
PLANNING USE CLASSES IN ENGLAND
In England, the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended) sets out a classification of use classes that apply across the country.
For more information on use classes, when planning permission is needed and the ‘prior approval’ process, see our Guide to Planning Change of Use and the Use Classes Order.
CLASS B USES
Prior to September 2020, there were three main B class uses:
- B1 (Offices/Research and Development/Light Industry)
- B2 (General Industry) and
- B8 (Storage and Distribution).
Former uses B3, B4, B5, B6, B7 had been consolidated into the other B classes prior to 2020.
ONLY TWO OF THE B-CLASS USES REMAIN:
CLASS B2 – GENERAL INDUSTRIAL
This covers buildings used for any industrial process other than one falling within the uses described in Class E, sub-paragraph (g) – see below.
It is possible under Permitted Development rights to change to B8 subject to various criteria, e.g. up to a certain floorspace. Check with your local authority for details.
CLASS B8 – STORAGE AND DISTRIBUTION
This covers all types of storage (e.g. warehouses or outside storage) and distribution use.
It is possible under Permitted Development rights to change to use class C3 (dwellinghouse) subject to various criteria and the prior approval process. Check with your local authority for details.
THE NEW CLASS E AND ABOLITION OF CLASS B1
Class B1 was deleted and subsumed into a new Class E in September 2020.
Class E (Commercial, Business and Service), includes a broad and diverse range of uses which principally serve the needs of visiting members of the public and or are suitable for a town centre area.
Class E allows for a mix of uses which recognises that a building may be in several different uses concurrently or be used for different uses at different times of the day.
Use Class – E (g) comprises uses which can be carried out in a residential area without detriment to its amenity:
(i) Offices to carry out any operational or administrative functions,
(ii) Research and development of products or processes
(iii) Industrial processes (light industry)
New Class E uses benefit from permitted development rights that include:
- Changes to use class C3 (dwellinghouses) subject to prior approval
- Changes to a mixed use for anything within Class E and as up to two flats subject to prior approval
- … and back again
- Change to a state funded school or back to a previous lawful use
For further details, including any limitations (e.g. floorspace limits), restrictions, conditions etc. refer to the Use Classes Order 1987 (as amended) and the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended).
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