Class PA – premises in light industrial use to residential

Class PA has finished and replaced by Class MA

Class PA is, at the time of writing, the newest change of use within the GPDO. It was introduced in September 2017.

This use class expires on 30th September 2020, therefore it is too late to submit an application under Class PA unless it gets extended.

light industrial

It is aimed at light industrial units within residential areas of up to 500 square metres. This is the maximum floor space of the building. It might be possible to reduce the floor space before applying. Like many other changes of use Class PA is date stamped, but this is date stamped twice. Firstly it must have been a light industrial unit on or before 19th March 2014 and secondly you must get approval to convert by 30th September 2020. This is unlikely to be extended, therefore time is of the essence.

Please be aware that if you need to appeal a decision, the inspectorate might not be able to grant permission as Class PA will fail to exist after 30th September 2020.

As from 1st August 2020 you must supply floor plans as part of the application and it will require the the provision of adequate natural light in all habitable rooms of the properties created under Class PA. The GPDO defines a habitable room as any rooms used or intended to be used for sleeping or living which are not solely used for cooking purposes, but does not include bath or toilet facilities, service rooms, corridors, laundry rooms, hallways or utility rooms.

Where can you and where can’t you? 

As with many use classes there are a few restrictions as to location. Apart from not being in an industrial zone, you need to avoid a site of special scientific interest (SSSI), safety hazard zone, military explosion storage area, scheduled monument or a listed building.  You are fine in other areas for example conservation areas.

The prior approval will take 56 days to be processed by the local authority and they will asses it against highways, contamination and flood risk.

As with other permitted development changes there is no requirement to follow national space standards, unless you plan to convert later to an HMO, which has minimum room sizes. You can also divide it into more than one dwelling, but bear in mind that the minimum accepted size for mortgage purposes is generally 30 square metres, although one or two are known to go lower.

You will need to submit a second application should you need to make any exterior changes to the building.


Check out other permitted development options on our changes of use page.

Page updated: 27th February 2022