Class G – Class E or Betting Office or Payday Loan Shop to Mixed use
Class G is a useful permitted development right for as long as you meet a few minor conditions you can do this anywhere within England subject to Prior Approval. This works well for anything in Use Class E, betting office or pay day loan shop which are both Sui Generis. Use Class E includes offices, shops, banks, gyms, restaurants, GPs, light industrial amongst others. So a wide range of opportunities. Unlike other permitted development rights for conversion to residential there isn’t any date stamp. In theory it could be a virtually new building.
Ancillary Use Upstairs
It important that the space upstairs is ancillary to the unit below. This means that it is connected in some way. It might be used as storage for the shop or as offices for the restaurant for example. If the two are not linked then it is unlikely to be ancillary and might be a separate planning unit therefore fall outside of the criteria for Class G.
Prior Approval Required
In August 2021 Class G was altered to required the need for a Prior Approval application to be submitted to the local authority. The proposals will be assessed against contamination, flood risk, impacts of noise from commercial premises, natural light to all habitable rooms and the storage of domestic waste.
You can download the application form directly from the planning portal here. You will need to submit it to the local authority directly and pay the fee of £100 per dwelling.
What does “Mixed Use” mean?
Quite simply it means that you can have up to two flats above shops under permitted development. You must have the flats above the commercial element and you can’t convert part of the ground floor into a flat.
That’s about it on Class G – it is not restricted in any location such as conservation areas, national parks, listed buildings etc. Although for a listed building you will require listed building consent. The only requirement is that the area above should be connected to the commercial unit below in some way or in other words ancillary.
If the shop is large enough why not consider splitting the shop. Once you have split the building down the middle or into more segments from top to bottom you can create up to two flats above each of the shops. How good is that?
If the commercial unit has been in existence for two years you might be able to combine Class G with Class MA. You should also be able to combine it with Class L upstairs. But please ensure you complete Class G before attempting to convert the commercial unit below.
It was held in Valentino Plus Limited v. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government  EWHC 19 (Admin) that a proper interpretation of Class F (a previous incarnation of what is now Class G) “permits a change from a single planning unit to up to three planning units, that is to say one in A1 (now E) use and two flats” (paragraph 17 of the judgment). This gives extra weight to the ability to use Class L to convert to an HMO.
However as every circumstance could be different, the person considering applying Class L rights must asses as to whether their property is legally able to go from C3 to C4 having previously benefited from Class G change of use or indeed any other legislation. Of course, these rights may also be prevented via an Article 4 or other restrictions placed on the property.
Check out other permitted development options on our changes of use page.
Class G – commercial, business and service or betting office or pay day loan shop to mixed use
G. Development consisting of a change of use of a building—
(a) from a use within Class E (commercial, business and service) of Schedule 2 to the Use Classes Order, to a mixed use for any purpose within that Class and as up to 2 flats;
(c) from a use within article 3(6)(n) (betting office) or 3(6)(o) (pay day loan shop) of the Use Classes Order, to a mixed use for any purpose within Class E (commercial, business and service) of Schedule 2 to that Order and as up to 2 flats;
(e) from a use falling within article 3(6)(n) (betting office) or 3 (6)(o) (pay day loan shop) of the Use Classes Order to a mixed use falling within article 3(6)(n) (betting office) or 3 (6)(o) (pay day loan shop) of the Use Classes Order and as up to 2 flats.
G.1 Development permitted by Class G is subject to the following conditions—
(a) some or all of the parts of the building used for a use within, as the case may be, article 3(6)(n) (betting office) or 3(6)(o) (pay day loan shop) of, or Class E of Schedule 2 to, the Use Classes Order is situated on a floor below the lowest part of the building used as a flat;
(b) where the development consists of a change of use of any building with a display window at ground floor level, the ground floor must not be used in whole or in part as a flat;
(c) a flat must not be used otherwise than as a dwelling (whether or not as a sole or main residence)—
(i) by a single person or by people living together as a family, or
(ii) by not more than 6 residents living together as a single household (including a household where care is provided for residents).
(d) before beginning development, the developer must apply to the local planning authority for a determination as to whether the prior approval of the authority will be required as to—
(i) contamination risks in relation to the building;
(ii) flooding risks in relation to the building;
(iii) impacts of noise from commercial premises on the intended occupiers of the development;
(iv) the provision of adequate natural light in all habitable rooms of the dwellinghouses;
(v) arrangements required for the storage and management of domestic waste.
Interpretation of Class G
G.2 For the purposes of Class G, “care” means personal care for people in need of such care by reason of old age, disablement, past or present dependence on alcohol or drugs or past or present mental disorder.
Page updated: 20th January 2024