Class E – Commercial hard surfaces for business premises


Commercial hard surfaceIf you have a property within Use Class E, or a pub or hot food takeaway you may create a commercial hard surface subject to a couple of limitations. This also allows for the part or whole replacement of the same.

Any new surface created after 6th April 2010 is limited to 50 square metres under Class E of Part 7. You are also prevented from taking advantage of Class E for a commercial hard surface within the curtilage of a listed building.

Unless there is a risk of groundwater contamination any new surfaces must be either prorous or provision made for the run-off water to be dealt with properly.

If you have a residential property, please see Class F of Part 1. For schools, universities or hospitals see Class N of this part. For industrial and warehouses see Class J of this part.





Class E – hard surfaces for commercial, business or service etc premises

Permitted development

E. Development consisting of—

(a) the provision of a hard surface within the curtilage of a building used for a purpose falling within one of the following provisions of the Use Classes Order—
(i) article 3(6)(p) (drinking establishments etc);
(ii) article 3(6)(q) (drinking establishment with expanded food provision);
(iii) article 3(6)(r) (hot food takeaway); or
(iv) Class E (commercial, business and service) of Schedule 2; or

(b) the replacement in whole or in part of such a surface.

Development not permitted

E.1 Development is not permitted by Class E if—

(a) the cumulative area of ground covered by a hard surface within the curtilage of the premises (other than hard surfaces already existing on 6th April 2010) would exceed 50 square metres; or

(b) the development would be within the curtilage of a listed building.


E.2 Development is permitted by Class E subject to the following conditions—

(a) where there is a risk of groundwater contamination, the hard surface is not made of porous materials; and

(b) in all other cases, either—
(i) the hard surface is made of porous materials, or
(ii) provision is made to direct run-off water from the hard surface to a permeable or porous area or surface within the curtilage of the undertaking.



Hard surfaces Page Updated:  7th August 2023