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Use Class A1 - Shops / Retail

A1 Shops - Shops, retail warehouses, hairdressers, undertakers, travel and ticket agencies, post offices, pet shops, sandwich bars, showrooms, domestic hire shops, dry cleaners, funeral directors and internet cafes
Changing to A1
If you own a property that you would like to use as an A1 shop or are thinking of taking a lease on a property but need to change the current use of the property, you have come to the right place. In many instances a property will be permitted a change to A1 only requiring an application for a certificate of lawfulness for the change of use. However, in some cases changing to an alternate use may require planning permission.
Changing from A1
If you are a landlord or business owner and are looking to change the designation of a property from A1 to any alternative use, you will need planning permission before doing so. The most common change from A1 is either to an A3 restaurant or an A5 hot food takeaway, but there are many other potential uses. In our capacity as planning consultants we have successfully secured planning permission for changes from A1 shops to D1 gyms, B1 offices, D1 nurseries, D1 dental centres, and many more.

Use Class A2 - Financial And Professional Services

A2 Financial and professional services - Financial services such as banks and building societies, professional services (other than health and medical services) and including estate and employment agencies. It does not include betting offices or pay day loan shops - these are now classed as “sui generis” uses
Changing to A2
If you are looking to change the use of a property to A2 to be used for financial & professional services you may or may not need to apply for planning permission, depending on whether there is are permitted change rights. For example, if the property in question is designated as an A3 restaurant, A4 pub or A5 hot food takeaway, it may be possible to change it to A2 without applying for change of use consent, subject to it meeting certain requirements.
To find out if you need planning permission for a change of use you can contact us and one of our consultants will be happy to go through the scheme with you. Changing any other property to A2 will always need planning permission.
Changing from A2
If the current designation of a property is A2 and you wish to change it to another use class, you will most likely need to apply for planning permission. In the event that your desired change is to A1 and the shop has a ground floor window display, you may be able to proceed with the change without applying for planning permission for the change of use.
We recommend that you determine early on whether planning permission is needed for a proposed change, as it may prove costly to apply once you have already taken a lease and set up the business. As planning consultants, we have successfully secured planning permission for many of our clients seeking to change the use of an A2 premises to A3 restaurants, B1 offices, D2 gym facilities and others.

Use Class A4 - Drinking Establishments

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 night clubs) including drinking establishments with expanded food provision

Do I need Planning Permission to change to A4 Usage?
A4 is use for:
(a) a public house,
(b) wine-bar,
(c) or any other drinking establishment
i.e premises where the primary purposes is the sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks on the premises.
Permitted Change from A4
A1, A2 or A3

A5 is use for - The sale of hot food for consumption off the premises.

A5 Hot food takeaways - For the sale of hot food for consumption off the premises.

Do I need Planning Permission to change to A5 Usage?
A5 is use for:
The sale of hot food for consumption off the premises.
i.e. premises where the primary purpose is the sale of hot food to take away
Permitted Change from A5 Use Class
Properties that are designated as A5 planning usage can be changed to A1 Shops, A2 Financial and Professional Services or A3 Restaurant, providing that the application is of a satisfactory standard. Changes to other uses are certainly possible but will require substantial work to gain approval.
Matters To Consider when Changing to A5 Use Class
An application to change the use of a property to A5 to be used as a hot food-take away is likely to face several challenges.

Our team work closely with our clients, delivering both an expert and intuitive approach to their development. It is our intention to use our expertise to inform our clients and produce a service that delivers the intended design, function and value for money of both design and outcome. Although councils will attach great importance to the design and planning drawings and can refuse a development of poor design, their planning policies considerations and decisions can vary and there are many issues that need to be considered. Our vast experience in architectural design, planning and preparation of planning drawings, allows our team to articulate any findings within the development process to achieve effective results.

B is use as:

B1 Business - Offices (other than those that fall within A2), research and development of products and processes, light industry appropriate in a residential area

B2 General industrial - Use for industrial process other than one falling within class B1 (excluding incineration purposes, chemical treatment or landfill or hazardous waste)

B8 Storage or distribution - This class includes open air storage.

C1 is use as:

(a) hotel
(b) boarding house
(c) guest house
(d) hostel
In each case, no significant element of care is provided.
No permitted Change from C1 Use Class

C1 Hotels - Hotels, boarding and guest houses where no significant element of care is provided (excludes hostels)

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

C2 is use as Provision of residential accommodation and care to people in need of care (other than a use within class C3 - dwelling houses).
A hospital or nursing home.
A residential school, college or training centre.

C3 Dwellinghouses - This class is formed of three parts
o 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
o C3(b) covers 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
o 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 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.

Use Class D1 Non Residential Institutions

D1 Non-residential institutions - Clinics, health centres, crèches, day nurseries, day centres, schools, art galleries (other than for sale or hire), museums, libraries, halls, places of worship, church halls, law court. Non-residential education and training centres
(a) Clinics and Health Centres (for the provision of any medical or health services except the use of premises attached to the residence of the consultant or practitioner)
(b) as a crèche, day nursery or day centre
(c) for the provision of education
(d) for the display of works of art (otherwise than for sale or hire)
(e) as a museum
(f) as a public library or public reading room
(g) as a public hall or exhibition hall
(h) for, or in connection with, public worship or religious instruction
(i) non- residential education and training centres
In each case, no significant element of care is provided.

D2 Assembly and leisure - Cinemas, music and concert halls, bingo and dance halls (but not night clubs), swimming baths, skating rinks, gymnasiums or area for indoor or outdoor sports and recreations (except for motor sports, or where firearms are used).se Class D2 Assembly and Leisure

(a) a cinema,
(b) a concert hall,
(c) a bingo hall or casino,
(d) a dance hall,
(e) a swimming bath, skating rink, gymnasium or area for other indoor or outdoor sports or recreations, not involving motorised vehicles or firearms.
Sui Generis
Sui Generis use includes:
(a) theatres
(b) casinos
(c) houses in multiple paying occupation
(d) hostels providing no significant element of care
(e) scrap yards
(f) Petrol filling stations
(g) shops selling and/or displaying motor vehicles
(h) Retail warehouse clubs
(i) nightclubs
(j) launderettes
(k) taxi businesses
(l) amusement centres
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Change Of Use Prior Notification

Other changes coming into force on 25 May
Other amendments made to Permitted Development rights that take effect on 25 May 2019 include:
Allowing change of use from Class A1 (shops), Class A2 (financial and professional services), or Class A5 (hot food takeaways) or a betting shop, pay day loan shop or launderette, to a use falling within Class B1(a) (offices)a subject to limits and conditions including the submission of a prior approval application.
Allowing change of use from Class A5 (hot food takeaways) to Class C3 (dwellinghouses) subject to limits and conditions including the submission of a prior approval application.
Clarifying that the limit of floor space for any dwellinghouse created by Class Q of Part 3 of Schedule 2 is 465 square metres.
Amending Part 4 Class D (shops, financial, cafes, takeaway etc to temporary flexible use) so that flexible use is allowed for a period of up to three years and now also includes
Class D1(a) the provision of any medical or health services except the use of premises attached to the residence of the consultant or practitioner,
Class D1(d) the display of works of art (otherwise than for sale or hire),
Class D1(e) museum,
Class D1(f) public library or public reading room, and
Class D1(g) public hall or exhibition hall.
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