Use Classification Commercial premises are given a classification by the local planning authority as to the type of trade or use to which the property may be put.
A1 – Retail Shops
- for the retailing of goods other than hot food
- as a post office
- sale of tickets or travel agents
- sale of sandwiches and other cold food for consumption off the premises
- funeral directors
- display of good for sale
- hiring of domestic or personal goods or articles
- for the reception or service of goods to be washed, cleaned or repaired.
A2 – Professional and Financial Services – Banks, Insurance Brokers, Solicitors, Estate Agents.
A3 – Food & Drink – Restaurants, bars, public houses, takeaways.
B1 – Business which covers offices other than those in class A2
B2 – General Industrial, covers industrial processes such as manufacturing and repairing which does not come under B1 or the special industrial classes B3-B7
B3-B7 – Special Industrial Classes which have potential for environmental harm.
B8 – Storage and distribution, warehousing etc.
Change of use involves getting planning permission from the local authority. The change is more likely to be successful if it can be shown that the new type of business will serve a need not already being provided in the area. Factors to be taken into account might be:
- The need for that type of business in the area.
- Trading hours.
- Other similar businesses already present and their number.
- Traffic flows and parking requirements.
- Any likely causes of nuisance connected with the business: noise, smells, traffic and environmental hazards.
- The requirements of nearby residential occupiers – housing, flats above shops.
- Objections from other occupiers.
Some use classes, particularly A3, can be difficult to obtain, but increased rental values will reflect this.