How To Find Use Class Of A Building?

Many businesses and properties change, from structural alternations to a shift in industry. However, it’s vital to understand what use class your building falls under so that you can make the appropriate changes and stay inline with Government regulations.

Let’s dive into building use classes and discover why they’re so crucial for your property.

What Is A Use Class?

Every building or piece of land has an allocated category, known as a use class. It’s important to know what class a facility falls under because you need to make sure the right permit development rights cover your building work.

In some situations, you may need to change your building’s use class to ensure the correct permits protect your work.

What Are The Different Use Classes?

There are a total of six use classes. These have changed in 2020, with the publication of ‘The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020’ coming into force in September. In this amendment, the UK Government removed the old classes A, D, and B1(a).

These include:

Class B- businesses which primarily serve people 

Class C- Locations where people sleep 

 Class E- Commercial, Business and Service 

 Class F1- learning and non-residential institutions 

 Class F2- local community 

Sui Generis- unique locations (e.g. pubs, takeaways, theatres) 

How Do I Find The Use Class Of A Building? 

No fixed list details every building’s use class, which can make it tricky for property owners to nail down which category their building belongs in. It will take some digging to find the registered use class for your property, but there are some simple ways to get started with the search:

Are there any previous applications for a change of use that can give you an indication?

What was the property originally built for? 

Was it owned by a public body in the past? 

Are there any old leases that can give you an idea of its use class? 

Your local authority might be able to offer some guidance on this, but it’s still worth doing some independent research to be safe.

What If I Need To Change The Use Class Of My Building?

If you’re looking to conduct some building work or invest in a property to renovate it, then you may need to apply for a Change of Use with your local authority. Often associated with a planning permission application for larger projects, your Change of Use application will vary from property to property depending on its original classification.

How Can Commercial Architecture Help?

If you’re looking to file a Change of Use application in the London area, then Commercial Architecture can help. Our team of expert architects have experience in obtaining planning permission and smoothly moving through building regulations in London to help get your project off the ground. We can even make 3D graphic visualisations of the finished product, enhancing the professionalism and success rate of your application.

Get In Touch To Find Out More.

Andre Sakis