Directory of use classes

On this page, we state that there is no list of use classes. There isn’t. This is not a list of use classes. It is however a directory showing which use classes we expect a particular use to fall into. There is a difference – honest! This is a directory where we expect the uses to come. Note that there are a few oddities to the directory, as local authorities can try to vary where the use is not defined in the Use Class Order.

There used to be a land use gazetteer several years ago, but this is very out of date. Sadly there is a risk that people might refer to that in order to try and figure out the use class of a building. It is misleading and should be avoided. Life has moved on!

It isn’t every building use within England, but there are quite a few! Some might be open to debate as well. Where a use class is not described in either Use Class B, C, E, F1 or F2 then it falls outside the Use Class Order and is therefore Sui Generis.

A recent appeal APP/R5510/X/22/3290784 was confirmed by the inspectorate that a former restaurant could become a tanning salon, a use that was previously deemed as Sui Generis. This was thanks to the new wording in Use Class E that says ‘any other services which it is appropriate to provide in a commercial, business or service locality’ .

Note that buildings which have multiple true uses could well be classed as Sui Generis. However if the secondary use is ancillary then the Use Class remains as the main one. For example a Cathedral with a shop would still be F1, as the gift shop is ancillary to the Church.

We will add to this directory if we find that some common uses are missing. If you feel we are wrong in any of these, please let us know! It might just be a typo on our part. Please note that this list applies only ton England. There might be similarities to use classes in Wales and Scotland, but they are different.


The Use Class Directory


You can sort this table on either column. You may also search for keywords. We have over 200 examples in the Use Class Directory, but if any are missing, let us know (we bet you can’t!).

UsageUse Class
Adult Entertainment VenueSui Generis
Agricultural UnitsSui Generis
Alkali WorkSui Generis
Amusement ArcadeSui Generis
Art GalleryF1
Artists StudioE
BarnsSui Generis
Beauty SalonsE *
Bed & BreakfastC1
Betting ShopsSui Generis
Bingo HallSui Generis
Boarding HousesC1
Boarding KennelsSui Generis
Boarding SchoolC2
Boat buildingB2
Builders YardSui Generis ∆
Building SocietiesE
Buildings used for storageB8
Bungalows (use by single person or family)C3
Cab CompanySui Generis
Car Hire / Car RentalSui Generis
Car RacingSui Generis
Car RepairsB2
Car ServicingE
Car ShowroomSui Generis
Caravan SIteSui Generis
Care HomesC2
CasinoSui Generis
Catering premises & productionB2
Catering Storage & DistributionB8
CatterySui Generis
Church HallsF1
CinemaSui Generis
Clothes ShopE
Concert HallSui Generis
Cricket PitchesF2
Custody CentresC2A
Dairy FarmingSui Generis
Dance HallSui Generis
Day NurseriesE
Detention CentresC2A
Distribution CentresB8
Dog Grooming ParlourE *
Drinking Establishments with Expanded Food ProvisionSui Generis
Dry CleanersE
Education FacilityF1
Employment AgenciesE
EquestrianSui Generis
Estate AgenciesE
Exhibition HallsF1
Extra Care HousingC2 †††
FarmSui Generis
Fast Food TakeawaySui Generis
Film StudioB2
Firearms SportsSui Generis
Flats (use by single person or family)C3
Football PitchesF2
Fruit GrowingSui Generis
Fuel StationsSui Generis
Funeral DirectorsE
FunfairsSui Generis
Garages (Fuel)Sui Generis
General IndustrialB2
Group of up to 6 people living together as a single householdC3
Group of up to 6 people living together with careC3
Guest HousesC1
Gymnasiums (Gyms)E
Hall or Meeting Place for local useF2
Haulage DepotSui Generis
Health CentresE
Hire ShopsE
HMOs (3 to 6 people)C4
HMOs (7+ people)Sui Generis
Homeowner with a lodgerC3
HorticultureSui Generis
Hostels (No care)Sui Generis
Hot Food TakeawaysSui Generis
Houses (use by single person or family)C3
Indoor Sports & RecreationE
Industrial ProcessB2
Industrial Processes in a residential area without causing detriment to the amenity of the areaE
Internet CafesE
Job CentreE
KennelsSui Generis
Landfill SitesSui Generis
Lap Dancing ClubSui Generis
Large HMOsSui Generis
LaunderettesSui Generis
Law CourtsF1
Light IndustrialE
Live Music VenueSui Generis
Local HallsF2
Local Shops (no other such facility < 280 sq m within 1 km)F2
Lorry ParkSui Generis
Maisonettes (use by single person or family)C3
Market GardensSui Generis
Massage ParlourE *
Military BarracksC2A
Minicab CompanySui Generis
MOT CentreE ††
Motorcycle RepairsB2
Motorcycle ShowroomSui Generis
Motorsport ArenasSui Generis
Movie StudioB2
Mushroom FarmSui Generis
Music StudioE
Nail BarE *
Naval BarracksC2A
NightclubsSui Generis
Non-residential Education and Training CentresF1
Non-retail Photographic StudioE
Nursery (Day)E
Nursery GroundsSui Generis
Nursing HomesC2
Open Air StorageB8
Other Drinking EstablishmentsSui Generis
Outdoor SportF2
Payday Loan ShopsSui Generis
Pet ShopsE
Petrol StationsSui Generis
Phone ShopE
Photographic StudioE
Places of WorshipF1
Police Offices (not a station)E
Police StationsSui Generis
Polo GroundF2
Post OfficesE
Postal Sorting OfficesSui Generis
Private Hire CompanySui Generis
Professional ServicesE
Public Halls (except local)F1
Public LibrariesF1
Public Reading RoomF1
PubsSui Generis
Recording StudiosE
Religious InstructionF1
Research & DevelopmentE
Residential Accommodation in need of careC2
Residential Schools, Colleges or Training CentresC2
Retail Warehouse ClubSui Generis
Retail WarehousesE
Sale of cold food for consumption off premisesE
Sandwich ShopE
Scout hutF2
Scrap YardsSui Generis
Secure HospitalsC2A
Secure Local Authority AccommodationC2A
Secure Training CentresC2A
Serviced AccommodationC1 / C3
Sui Generis †
Sheltered HousingC3 †††
Shoe ShopE
Short Term Holiday LetsC1 / C3
Sui Generis †
Short Term Holding CentresC2A
Skating RinkF2
Snooker HallE
Sports ArenasF2
Student BlocksSui Generis
Sunbed SalonE *
Supported Housing with care (up to 6 people)C3
Swimming PoolsF2
TakeawaySui Generis
Tanning SalonE *
Tattoo ParloursE *
Taxi CompanySui Generis
Tennis CourtsF2
TheatresSui Generis
Ticket AgenciesE
Tourist InformationE
Training CompanyF1
Travel AgenciesE
Vehicle SportsSui Generis
Veterinary Practice (Vets)E
Visitor CentreSui Generis
Wine BarsSui Generis
Yacht BuildingB2
Yard for Breaking of Motor VehiclesSui Generis
Yard for Storage / Distribution of MineralsSui Generis
Young Offenders’ InstitutionsC2A
ZooSui Generis

Traditionally we have considered dog groomers, tattoo parlours or beauty salons to be sui generis, but the new wording in Use Class E says ‘any other services which it is appropriate to provide in a commercial, business or service locality’ which in our opinion brings several other local uses into Use Class E. You might however find that the local authority doesn’t agree. We hope they do.

A recent appeal APP/R5510/X/22/3290784 was confirmed by the inspectorate that a former restaurant could become a tanning salon, a use that was previously deemed as Sui Generis, thanks to the line referred to above.

∆ Builders Merchants could be classed as B8 or Sui Generis. Wickes tend to prefer Use Class B8 / E and have obtained this at appeal.

†  Serviced accommodation (SA) or Airbnb etc., can be classed as Use Class C1, C3 or Sui Generis, depending upon the local authority and the number of nights occupied per year.  Serviced Accommodation or SA for short, does not appear in the Use Class Order as a result various local authorities treat them differently.

†† Traditionally MOT locations have also been B2, but providing they are able to operate in a residential area without detriment to the amenity of that area, we feel that they would now be better as Use Class E. But if the location also undertook repairs of any description it would likely fall back into B2.This change is due to the modified Use Class B2 within England as defined in Article 3(1C) of the Use Class Order which was updated in 2020.

††† Sheltered Housing and Extra Care Housing are likely to be C3, unless care is needed by residents when it may fall into C2. Where care is simply available as and when required, doesn’t move it into C2. See Use Class C2 for more information.


Eek!  I still need help…..


Use Class DirectoryNo worries – book a session with Ian, the founder of Planning Geek and he will assist you via Zoom on both the building and also what you can do with it.

You can book a session via this page.





Page Updated: 16th May 2024