Commercial Conference

The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order, 1950


In 1950 we saw the second Use Classes Order issued. This merged together several uses from the now replaced Use Classes Order 1948 to allow for easier switching of uses without development. Uses such as funfairs, garages, petrol stations & public houses were outside of the Use Classes Order of 1950 or Sui Generis as we know it today.

This order applied to the whole of England and Wales.

The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order, 1950

A “shop” was defined as  a building used for the carrying on of any retail trade or retail business wherein the primary purpose is the selling of goods by retail, and includes a building used for the purposes of a hairdresser, undertaker or ticket agency or for the reception of goods to be washed, cleaned or repaired, or for any other purpose appropriate to a shopping area, but does not include a building used as a funfair, garage, petrol filling station, office, or hotel or premises (other than a restaurant) licensed for the sale of intoxicating liquors for consumption on the premises.

A “funfair” included an amusement arcade or pin0table saloon.

An “office” included a bank, but didn’t include a post office.

The Town and Country Planning Act 1947 stated that the use thereof for any other purpose of the same class shall not be deemed to involve development. 


Use Classes


Class I Use as a shop for any purpose except as:-
(i) a fried fish shop;
(ii) a tripe shop;
(iii) a shop for the sale of pet animals or birds;
(iv) a cats-meat shop
Class II Use as an office for any purpose.
Class III Use as a light industrial building for any purpose.
Class IV Use as a general industrial building for any purpose.
Class V Use for any work which is registerable under the Alkali, etc. Works Regulation Act, 1906, as extended by the Alkali, etc. Works Orders, 1928 to 1950, except a process ancillary to the getting, dressing or treatment of minerals, carried on in or adjacent to a quarry or mine. 
Use for any of the following processes, except as aforesaid, so far as not registerable under the above Act: –
(i) smelting, calcining, sintering or other reduction of ores or minerals;
(ii) converting, re-heating, annealing, hardening or carburising, forging or casting, of iron or other metals ;
(iii) galvanising;
(iv) recovering of metal from scrap;
(v) pickling or treatment of metal in acid;
(vi) chromium plating.
Class VI Use for any of the following processes so far as not included in Class V and except a process ancillary to the getting, dressing or treatment of minerals, carried on in or adjacent to a quarry or mine: –
(i) burning of building bricks;
(ii) lime and dolomite burning;
(iii) carbonisation of coal in coke ovens;
(iv) production of calcium carbide, lampblack or zinc oxide;
(v) crushing or screening of stone or slag.
Class VII Use for any of the following processes so far as not included in Class V:-
The production or employment of
(i) cyanogen or its compounds;
(ii) liquid or gaseous sulphur dioxide;
(iii) sulphur chlorides.
Salt Glazing
Sintering of sulphur bearing materials.
The manufacture of glass, where the sodium sulphate used exceeds 1.5 per cent. of the total weight of the melt.
The production of ultramarine or zinc chloride.
Class VIII Use for any of the following processes so far as not included in Class V:-
The distilling, refining or blending of oils, the production or employment of cellulose lacquers (except their employment in garages in connection with minor repairs), hot pitch or bitumen, or pyridine ; the stoving of enamelled ware ; the production of amyl acetate, aromatic esters, butyric acid, caramel, hexamine, iodoform, B-naphthol, resin products ( except synthetic resins, plastic moulding or extrusion compositions and plastic sheets, rods, tubes, filaments, fibres or optical components ·produced by casting, calendering, moulding, shaping or extrusion), salicylic acid, or sulphonated organic com­pounds; paint and varnish manufacture (excluding mixing, milling and grinding) ; the production of rubber from scrap ; or the manufacture of acety­lene from calcium carbide, for sale or for use in a further chemical process
Class IX Use for carrying on any of the following industries, businesses or trades so far as not included in Class V : —
Animal charcoal manufacturer.
Blood albumen maker.
Blood boiler.
Bone boiler or steamer.
Bone burner.
Bone grinder.
Breeder of maggots from putrescible animal matter.
Candle maker.
Catgut manufacturer.
Chitterling or nettlings boiler.
Dealer in rags or bones (including receiving, storing, sorting or manipu­lating rags in or likely to become in an offensive condition, or any bones, rabbit-skins, fat or putrescible animal products of a like nature).
Fat melter or fat extractor.
Fish curer.
Fish oil manufacturer. Fish skin dresser or scraper.
Glue maker.
Gut scraper or gut cleaner.
Leather dresser.
Maker of meal for feeding poultry, dogs, cattle, or other animals from any fish, blood, bone, fat or animal offal, either in an offensive condition or subjected to any process causing noxious or injurious effluvia.
Manufacturer of manure from bones, fish, fish offal, blood, spent hops, beans or other putrescible animal or vegetable matter.
Parchment maker.
Size maker.
Skin drier.
Soap boiler.
Tallow melter or refiner.
Tripe boiler or cleaner.
Class X Use as a wholesale warehouse or repository for any purpose
Class XI Use as a boarding or guest house, a residential club, or a hotel providing sleeping accommodation.
Class XII Use as a residential or boarding school or a residential college.
Class XIII Use as a building for public worship or religious instruction or for the social or recreational activities of the religious body using the building.
Class XIV Use as a home or institute providing for the boarding care and maintenance of children, old people or persons under disability, a convalescent home, a nursing home, a sanatorium or a hospital (other than a hospital, home, hostel or institution included in Class XVI). 
Class XV Use (other than residentially) as a health centre, a school treatment centre, a clinic, a creche, a day nursery or a dispensary, or use as a consulting room or surgery unattached to the residence of the consultant or practitioner
Class XVI Use as a hospital, home or institution for persons of unsound mind, mental defectives, or epileptic persons, or a home, hostel or institution in which persons may be detained by order of a court or which is approved by one of His Majesty’s Principal Secretaries of State for persons required to reside there as a condition of a probation or a supervision order. 
Class XVII Use as an art gallery (other than for business purposes), a museum, a public-library or reading room, a public hall, a concert hall, an exhibition hall, a social centre, a community centre or a non-residential club. 
Class XVIII Use as a theatre, a cinema, a music hall, a dance hall, a skating rink, a swimming bath, a Turkish or other vapour or foam bath or a gymnasium, or for indoor games. 


SI 1950/1131 was laid before Parliament on 11th July 1950 and came into operation on 21st July 1950.

You can view the original version here.

There were two amendments to the Use Classes Order 1950, but we do not have details of those currently.

SI 1960/282 – The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment) Order 1960
SI 1960/1761 – Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment No. 2) Order 1960

This order was replaced by The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order, 1963





Page Updated: 5th December 2023