In many cases, a change of use of a building or land does not require planning permission if both the present and proposed uses fall within the same ‘class’ as defined in the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987. It is also possible to change use between some classes without making an application.
Below is a list explaining what each ‘class’ is and which changes are permitted without planning permission. Other changes of use will require planning permission and will be dealt with on their merits, having regard to the policies within the Warwick District Local Plan 1996-2011.
Use Classes and Permitted Changes
A1 : Shops
- Shops, post offices, travel/ticket agents, hairdressers, funeral directors, dry cleaners, sandwich bars. (No permitted change)
A2 : Financial and Professional Services
- Banks, building societies, estate/employment agencies and other financial and professional services. (Permitted change to A1 where a ground floor display window exists)
A3 : Restaurants and Cafes
- Restaurants, snack bars and cafes. (Permitted changes to A1 or A2)
A4 : Drinking Establishments
- Pubs and bars. (Permitted change to A1, A2 or A3)
A5 : Hot Food Take-Aways
- Take-Aways. (Permitted change to A1, A2 or A3)
- Shops selling and/or displaying motor vehicles, retail warehouse clubs, launderettes, taxi or vehicle hire businesses, amusement centres, petrol filling stations. (No permitted change)
B1 : Business
- Offices, research and development, light industry appropriate in a residential area. (Permitted change to B8 where no more than 235sq m)
B2 : General Industrial
- General industry. (Permitted change to B1 or B8 where no more than 235sq m)
B8 : Distribution, including Open Air Storage
- Warehouse, distribution centres, repositories. (Permitted change to B1 where no more than 235sq m)
- Any works that can be registered under the Alkali, etc Works Regulation Act 1906. (No permitted change)
C1 : Hotels
- Hotels, boarding and guest houses. (No permitted change)
C2 : Residential Institutions
- Residential care homes, hospitals, nursing homes, boarding schools, residential colleges and training centres. (No permitted change)
C3 : Dwelling Houses
This class has 3 parts:
- C3(a) covers use by a single person or a family (a couple whether married or not, a person related to one another with members of the family of one of the couple to be treated as members of the family of the other), an employer and certain domestic employees (such as an au pair, nanny, nurse, governess, servant, chauffeur, gardener, secretary and personal assistant), a carer and the person receiving the care and a foster parent and foster child.
- C3(b): up to six people living together as a single household and receiving care e.g. supported housing schemes such as those for people with learning disabilities or mental health problems.
- C3(c) allows for groups of people (up to six) living together as a single household. This allows for those groupings that do not fall within the C4 HMO definition, but which fell within the previous C3 use class, to be provided for i.e. a small religious community may fall into this section as could a homeowner who is living with a lodger.
C4 : Houses in Multiple Occupation
- Small shared dwelling houses occupied by between three and six unrelated individuals, as their only or main residence, who share basic amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom. (Permitted change to C3)
- Hostel. (No permitted change)
D1 : Non-Residential Institutions
- Surgeries, health centres, crèches, nurseries, day centres, art galleries, museums, libraries, halls, churches and non-residential education and training centres. (No permitted change)
D2 : Assembly and Leisure
- Cinemas, concert halls, bingo and dance halls, casinos, swimming baths, skating rinks, gymnasiums or sports arenas (except for motor sports, or where firearms are used). (No permitted change)
- Theatres, nightclubs. (No permitted change)
Changes of use requiring an application
Applications for planning permission are always required for material changes of use involving amusement centres, theatres, scrap yards, petrol filling stations, car showrooms (except for material changes of use from car showrooms to A1 uses), taxi and car hire businesses and hostels.
For more information regarding how to submit an application please go to Applying for Permission. If you are in any doubt about whether you need to apply, you should consult the Development Control Section of the planning department.