Changing the Use of Premises
Development isn't just extensions to properties or creating properties etc; it includes the making of a material change of use of the land.
For example: changing a shop to a restaurant
house into two flats.
The following classes of use for England are set out in the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 and its subsequent amendments.
A1 Shops - Shops including retail warehouses, hairdressers, travel and ticket agencies, post offices, pet shops, sandwich bars, domestic hire shops, dry cleaners and funeral directors.
A2 Financial and professional services - Financial Services: Banks, building societies and bureau de change. Professional Services (other than health or medical services): Estate agents and employment agencies. Other services appropriate to be provided in a shopping area where the services are provided principally to visiting members of the public: Betting shops.
A3 Restaurants and cafés - For the sale of food and drink for consumption on the premises - restaurants, snack bars and cafes.
A4 Drinking establishments - Public houses, wine bars or other drinking establishments (but not a night clubs).
A5 Hot food takeaways - For the sale of hot food for consumption off the premises.
B1 Business - Offices, research and development, light industry appropriate in a residential area.
B2 General Industrial
B8 Storage or Distribution - This class includes open air storage.
C1 Hotels - Hotels, boarding and guest houses where no significant element of care is provided.
C2 Residential Institutions - Residential care homes, hospitals, nursing homes, boarding schools, residential colleges and training centres.
C2A Secure Residential Institution - Use for a provision of secure residential accommodation, including use as a prison, young offenders institution, detention centre, secure training centre, custody centre, short term holding centre, secure hospital, secure local authority accommodation or use as a military barracks.
C3 Dwellinghouses - Family houses, or houses occupied by up to six related residents living together as a single household, including a household where care is provided for residents.
C4 Houses in Multiple Occupation - Not more than six residents as an HMO as defined in the Housing Act 2004
D1 Non-Residential Institutions - Clinics, health centres, crèches, day nurseries, day centres, schools, art galleries, museums, libraries, halls, places of worship, church halls, law court. Non residential education and training centres.
D2 Assembly and Leisure - Cinemas, music and concert halls, bingo and dance halls (but not night clubs), swimming baths, skating rinks, gymnasiums or sports arenas (except for motor sports, or where firearms are used).
Sui Generis - A use of its own type; a mixed use of more than one use class; theatres, hostels providing no significant element of care, scrap yards. Petrol filling stations and shops selling and/or displaying motor vehicles. Retail warehouse clubs, nightclubs, launderettes, amusement centres. Casinos.
Do I Need to Apply for Permission?
In general, planning permission will be required for changes of use of land or buildings. However, there are exceptions to this:
- The change of use would not require permission because the existing and proposed uses are categorised within the same Use Class e.g. change of use from greengrocer's shop to butcher's shop. The Town and Country Use Classes Order classifies those uses. This has been amended in relation to food and drink uses (former A3) by The Town and Country Planning Use Classes (Amendment) Order 2005.
- The change of use is a permitted change under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order. This Order grants permission for specified changes, generally where the new use would have comparable or less impact than the existing. These changes are set out in Part 3 of Schedule 2 to the Order. See The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 produced by HMSO for details. In relation to food and drink uses this has been further amended by The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) (No. 2) Order 2005.
- The use is a temporary one, within the provisions of Part 4 of Schedule 2. (Use the above link to the General Permitted Development Order for details.)
- The proposed use is not materially different from the existing. You would be well advised to seek advice from the LPA before reaching this conclusion.
If you are unsure whether the changes you are proposing require permission please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- Location plan of the proposed site
- An indication of the proposal
- A sketch plan
- Photographs if possible
An Officer will then respond to your query.
How do I Find Out About the Existing Use?
The Council does not keep records of the lawful use of all properties in the Borough. However, the planning history for a site can be a valuable resource. Uses become lawful once they have taken place for more than 10 years (4 years in the case of use as a dwelling). While the Council's Planning Officers may be able to offer an opinion on the authorised use of a property, there is a formal procedure for determining the lawfulness of either an existing or proposed use. For more information about this go to the section on Certificates of Lawfulness.
Working From Home
Some commercial activities can be carried out at home without the need for planning permission.
However, where such activities result in a change in the character of the residential property there is said to be a 'material change of use', which needs planning permission.
A 'material change of use' requiring planning permission occurs when there has been a significant change in the use of a property, resulting in a change in the character of the use of the land or buildings.
This is a subjective assessment made by the local planning authority (Kettering Borough Council) in each individual case.
A change in character largely depends on the scale, nature, frequency and effects of the operations of the commercial activity in relation to the size of the unit of occupation in which it takes place.
Such a change can sometimes be apparent, for example, such things as an increase in vehicular movements to and from the property, or an increase in noise intrusion to adjacent residents, or other types of impact on local amenity.It is important to bear in mind that many business/commercial activities started from home outgrow their minor use status as the business becomes more successful, and the planning status of the premises may change accordingly.
How do I Apply?
Apply online using the Planning Portal. For Change of Use applications select the "Full planning consent" form.
Reporting an Unauthorised Change of Use
If you think that land or buildings have been the subject of an unauthorised change of use and or is harming your amenity, please use our on-line Report a Breach of Planning Control form to log the matter with our Enforcement Team.
Alternatively, if you want informal advice about the likelihood of your proposal gaining planning permission please use our pre-application advice service.
Last updated 28/02/2012