Use Class B2 – General Industrial

Use Class B2 of the Use Classes Order 1987 (as amended) is for the use for the carrying on of an industrial process other than one falling within the uses described in Schedule 2, Class E, sub-paragraph (g) (excluding incineration purposes, chemical treatment, landfill or hazardous waste – see sui generis). 

Use Class B2
When looking at Use Class B2 it is important to understand what ‘industrial process’ means. The Use Class Order describes ‘industrial process’ as:-

a process for or incidental to any of the following purposes:— (a) the making of any article or part of any article (including a ship or vessel, or a film, video or sound recording); (b) the altering, repairing, maintaining, ornamenting, finishing, cleaning, washing, packing, canning, adapting for sale, breaking up or demolition of any article; or (c) the getting, dressing or treatment of minerals;
in the course of any trade or business other than agriculture, and other than a use carried out in or adjacent to a mine or quarry;

Importantly within England, it also (updated by Article 3 (1C(b))) says other than a use falling within Use Class E sub-paragraph g; which in turn states:-

for— (i) an office to carry out any operational or administrative functions, (ii) the research and development of products or processes, or (iii) any industrial process, being a use, which can be carried out in any residential area without detriment to the amenity of that area by reason of noise, vibration, smell, fumes, smoke, soot, ash, dust or grit.

Therefore whilst a recording studio might appear to fall under B2, it would actually fall under E as it is a use that can carried out in any residential area without detriment to the amenity of that area and would therefore be a use falling within Use Class E wheres a larger film studio wouldn’t be due to vehicles, noise etc.

Any incineration purposes, chemical treatment, landfill or hazardous waste would fall outside B2 and would be sui generis.


Permitted Development Changes for Use Class B2

You can move from Use Class B2 to Use Class B8 under Class I of Permitted Development up to 500 sq m. However there isn’t an option to go from use Class B8 to Use Class B2 without full planning, therefore you should consider carefully whether moving to B8 is the best option.

All other changes from B2 and indeed to B2 will require planning permission. If you require assistance with planning permission please either request a free fee proposal, or book a Zoom call with Ian, the founder of Planning Geek. Our team of planning consultants are here to help.


Examples for Use Class B2

According to the Planning Geek directory of uses, B2 also includes car repairs, motorcycle repairs, film or movie studios, catering premises & production, boat and yacht building, factories and industrial processes. However ship building is likely to be sui generis (if we still have such a location in the UK!).

Note that car servicing on its own is likely to be Use Class E. Whereas car repairs tend to involve industrial processes that might include noise, chemicals, fumes etc., car servicing is unlikely to. 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. This is due to the revised definition of an industrial process detailed above. But if the location also undertook repairs of any description it would likely  fall back into B2.

Note that Use Class B2 was updated in 2020 by SI 757 for England and the information above reflects that. Details on other sites (for which we are not responsible for) are often out of date and do not reflect these changes. Hence why our information is different. Just in case you compare sites! 


Page Updated: 19th January 2024