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Explanation of the Official Classification of Types of Property Usage in the UK
(Note, that we are a software company and this information is provided purely for advice. If you need further information, please search for a Surveyor in your area.)
If you are selling, leasing, seeking, buying or about to rent a commercial property it is worth taking the time to read the information on this page and the full version of The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (see weblinks at bottom of the article).
Why Do These Classifications Exist?
Most properties in the UK have their ‘nature of use’ defined by the local authority that has jurisdiction over them.
Use Classes and Their Meanings
Use for all or any of the following purposes—
(a) for the retail sale of goods other than hot food,
(b) as a post office,
(c) for the sale of tickets or as a travel agency,
(d) for the sale of sandwiches or other cold food for consumption off the premises,
(e) for hairdressing,
(f) for the direction of funerals,
(g) for the display of goods for sale,
(i) for the reception of goods to be washed, cleaned or repaired,
where the sale, display or service is to visiting members of the public.
Class A2. Financial and professional services
Use for the provision of —
(c) any other services (including use as a betting office) which it is appropriate to provide in a shopping area,
where the services are provided principally to visiting members of the public.
Class A3. Restaurants and cafйs
For the sale of food and drink for consumption on the premises – restaurants, snack bars and cafes.
Class A4. Drinking establishments
Public houses, wine bars or other drinking establishments (but not night clubs).
Class A5. Hot food takeaways
For the sale of hot food for consumption off the premises.
Use for all or any of the following purposes—
(c) for any industrial process,
being a use which can be carried out in any residential area without detriment to the amenity of that area by reason of noise, vibration, smell, fumes, smoke, soot, ash, dust or grit.
Class B2. General industrial
Class B3. Special Industrial Group A
Class B4. Special Industrial Group B
(a) smelting, calcining, sintering or reducing ores, minerals, concentrates or mattes;
(b) converting, refining, re-heating, annealing, hardening, melting, carburising, forging or casting metals or alloys other than pressure die-casting;
(c) recovering metal from scrap or drosses or ashes;
(e) pickling or treating metal in acid;
(f) chromium plating.
Class B5. Special Industrial Group C
(a) burning bricks or pipes;
(b) burning lime or dolomite;
(c) producing zinc oxide, cement or alumina;
(e) processing pulverized fuel ash by heat;
(f) producing carbonate of lime or hydrated lime;
(g) producing inorganic pigments by calcining, roasting or grinding.
Class B6. Special Industrial Group D
Use for any of the following processes:—
(a) distilling, refining or blending oils (other than petroleum or petroleum products);
(b) producing or using cellulose or using other pressure sprayed metal finishes (other than in vehicle repair workshops in connection with minor repairs, or the application of plastic powder by the use of fluidised bed and electrostatic spray techniques);
(c) boiling linseed oil or running gum;
(d) processes involving the use of hot pitch or bitumen (except the use of bitumen in the manufacture of roofing felt at temperatures not exceeding 220°C and also the manufacture of coated roadstone);
(e) stoving enamelled ware;
(f) producing aliphatic esters of the lower fatty acids, butyric acid, caramel, hexamine, iodoform, napthols, resin products (excluding plastic moulding or extrusion operations and producing plastic sheets, rods, tubes, filaments, fibres or optical components produced by casting, calendering, moulding, shaping or extrusion), salicylic acid or sulphonated organic compounds;
(g) producing rubber from scrap;
(h) chemical processes in which chlorphenols or chlorcresols are used as intermediates;
(i) manufacturing acetylene from calcium carbide;
(j) manufacturing, recovering or using pyridine or picolines, any methyl or ethyl amine or acrylates.
Class B7. Special Industrial Group E
Use for storage or as a distribution centre.
Class C1. Hotels and hostels
Use as a hotel, boarding or guest house or as a hostel where, in each case, no significant element of care is provided.
Class C2. Residential institutions
Class 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.
Class C3. Dwellinghouses
Use as a dwellinghouse (whether or not as a sole or main residence) —
(a) by a single person or by people living together as a family, or
Class D1. Non-residential institutions
Any use not including a residential use —
(a) for the provision of any medical or health services except the use of premises attached to the residence of the consultant or practioner,
(b) as a crкche, 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.
Class D2. Assembly and leisure
Use as —
(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.
Copyright and Source of this Information
The “Use Classes and Their Meanings” part of this page is copied from part of the UK Statutory Instrument 1987 No. 764, The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (page 2). The instrument is © Crown Copyright 1987, so, if you copy it, you must ensure that it is accurate and make the source and copyright evident to users.