Find out if you need planning permission

Planning permission for business premises

Most alterations to business premises do need planning permission, including:

  • all shop and office extensions
  • alterations to shop fronts
  • external security shutters or grilles
  • changes in the use of land or buildings

The Use Class Order (external website) was updated on 1 September 2020. View the Planning Portal's guide on use classes (external website).  

Below is a summary of the changes that came into force from 1 September 2020.

Use Class What is included  New use class from 1 September 2020
Class A

A1 - Shops

A2 - Financial and Professional services

A3 - Restaurants and Cafes 

A4 - Drinking Establishments 

A5 - Hot Food Takeaways

Use class E
Class B

B1 - Business 

Use class E
Class B

B2 - General Industrial

B8 - Storage or Distribution

No change
Class C

C1 - Hotels

C2 - Residential Institutions

C3 - Dwellinghouses 

C4 - Houses in Multiple Occupation

No change
Class D

D1 - Non-residential Institutions

D2 - Assembly and Leisure

Use classes E and F
Sui Generis

'Sui generis' is a Latin term that, in this context, means ‘in a class of its own’. 

Certain uses are specifically defined and excluded from classification by legislation.

No change

Page last updated: 12 August 2022

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