The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1972


In 1972 we saw the fourth Use Classes Order issued. We saw launderettes, cafés and restaurants removed from the definition of a shop, and therefore outside of the Use Class Order, or Sui Generis as we know it now.

Mail delivery offices were mentioned for the first time. Fried fish shops has changed to hot food shops to widen the scope. Leather dresser, tanner. and parchment maker were removed and industrial processes condensed slightly.

Theaters, cinemas, music halls and concert halls have been separated from other uses, requiring planning to move between uses.

This replaced the Use Classes Order from 1963 and its two amendments. 

This order applied to the whole of England and Wales.

The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1972

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, travel agency, ticket agency or post office 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, amusement arcade, pin-table saloon, garage, launderette, petrol filling station, office, betting office, hotel, restaurant, snackbar or cafe or premises licensed for the sale of intoxicating liquors for consumption on the prem­ises;

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

An “office” includes a bank and premises occupied by an estate agency, building society or employment agency, or (for office purposes only) for the business of car hire or driving instruction but does not include a post office or betting office;

A ” betting office ” means any building in respect of which there is for the time being in force a betting office licence pursuant to the provisions of the Betting and Gaming Act 1960.

A “post office” does not include any building used primarily for the sorting or preparation for delivery of mail or for the purposes of Post Office administration;

” motor vehicle ” means any motor vehicle for the purposes of the Road Traffic Act 1960

“launderette” includes any building used for the purpose of washing or cleaning clothes or fabrics in coin-operated machines;

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 shop for the sale of hot food; (modified)
(ii) a tripe shop;
(iii) a shop for the sale of pet animals or birds;
(iv) a cats-meat shop
(v) a shop for the sale of motor vehicles
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 registrable under the Alkali &c Works Regulation Act 1906, as extended by the Alkali & Works Orders’ 1966 and 197l and which is not included in any of Classes VI, VII, VIII or IX of this Schedule.
Class VI Use for any of the following processes, except a process ancillary to the getting, dressing or treatment of minerals which is carried on in or adjacent to a quarry or mine: –
(i) smelting, calcining, sintering or reduction of ores, minerals, concen­trates or mattes;
(ii) converting, refining, re-heating, annealing, hardening, melting, car­burising, forging or casting of metals or alloys, other than pressure die-casting;
(iii) recovery of metal from scrap or drosses or ashes;
(iv) galvanizing;
(v) pickling or treatment of metal in acid;
(vi) chromium plating.
Class VII Use for any of the following pro­cesses except a process ancillary to the getting, dressing or treatment of minerals which is carried on in or adjacent to a quarry or mine: –
(i) burning of bricks or pipes;
(ii) lime or dolomite burning;
(iii) production of zinc oxide, cement or alumina;
(iv) foaming, crushing, screening or heating of minerals or slag;
(v) processing by heat of pulverized fuel ash;
(vi) production of carbonate of lime and hydrated lime;
(vii) production of inorganic pigments by calcining, roasting or grinding
Class VIII Use for any of the following pur­poses:-
(i) distilling, refining or blending of oils (other than petroleum or pet­roleum products);
(ii) production or employment of cellulose and employment of other pressure sprayed metal finishes (other than the employment of any such finishes in vehicle repair workshops in connection with minor repairs, and the application of plastic powder by the use of fluidised bed and electrostatic spray techniques);
(iii) boiling of linseed oil and the running of gum;
(iv) processes involving the use of hot pitch or bitumen (except the use of bitumen in the manufacture of roofing felt at temperatures not ex­ceeding 220° C and also the manufacture of coated roadstone);
(v) stoving of enamelled ware;·
(vi) production of aliphatic esters of the lower fatty acids, butyric acid, caramel. hexamine, iodoform, napthols, resin products (excluding plastic moulding or extrusion operations and production of plastic sheets, rods, tubes, filaments, fibres or optical components produced by casting, calendering, moulding, shaping or extrusion), salicylic acid or sulphonated organic compounds;
(vii) production of rubber from scrap;
(viii) chemical processes in which chlorphenols or chlorcresols are used as intermediates;
(ix) manufacture of acetylene from calcium carbide;
(x) manufacture, recovery or use of pyridine or picolines, any methyl or ethyl amine or acrylates.
Class IX Use for carrying on any of the following industries, businesses or trades: –
Animal charcoal manufacturer.
Animal hair cleanser, adapter or treater.
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.
Maker of feeding stuff for animals or poultry from any meat, fish, blood, bone, feathers, 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.
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 institution 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.
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 an art gallery (other than for business purposes), a mus­eum, a public library or reading room, a public hall, or an exhibition hall.
Class XVII Use as a theatre, cinema, music hall or concert hall.
Class XVIII Use as a dance hall, skating rink, swimming bath, Turkish or other vapour or foam bath, or as a gymnasium or sports hall.


SI 1972/1385 was laid before Parliament on 11th September 1972 and came into operation on 23rd October 1972.

You can view the original version here.

There was one amendment to the Use Classes Order 1972.

SI 1983/1614 – the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment) Order 1983 – download here

This order was replaced by The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order, 1987





Page Updated: 20th January 2024