Use Class A – businesses which primarily serve people

Planning Use Class AUse Class A of the Use Classes Order 1987 (as amended) are generally business that serve people either as shops, restaurants, banks, pubs or takeaways.  Note that the list on this page might alter from the original order as some subclasses have been removed and others added. This page is correct as of 28th July 2020. Check out our changes of change of use table to see which Class A use classes enjoy permitted development rights.

Note: – as of 1st September 2020 this section has been put into Class E or Sui Generis for pubs & takeaway.

They are as follows…..

(Also see Class B, Class C, Class D, Class E, Class F1, Class F2 and Sui Generis)

Use Class A1 – Shops and Retail Units
Use for all or any of the following purposes-
a) for the retail sale of goods other than hot food (shops and supermarkets etc.),
b) as a post office (but not sorting offices – see sui generis),
c) for the sale of tickets or as a travel agency,
d) for the sale of sandwiches or other cold food for consumption off the premises (sandwich bars),
e) for hairdressing (incl barbers),
f) for the direction of funerals (funeral directors or undertakers),
g) for the display of goods for sale (showrooms and retail warehouses (Argos etc.) (but not retail warehouse clubs (Costco etc.) – see sui generis),
h) for the hiring out of domestic or personal goods or articles (domestic hire shops),
i) for the washing or cleaning of clothes or fabrics on the premises (dry cleaners),
j) for the reception of goods to be washed, cleaned or repaired,
k) as an internet café; where the primary purpose of the premises is to provide facilities for enabling members of the public to access the internet
where the sale, display or service is to visiting members of the public.

Use Class A2 – Financial and professional services
use for the provision of –
a) financial services (banks and building societies), or
b) professional services (other than health or medical services – see D1) (estate and employment agencies), or
c) any other services which it is appropriate to provide in a shopping area,
where the services are provided principally to visiting members of the public.
(For betting shops and pay day loan shops see sui generis)

Use Class A3 – Restaurants and cafes – Use for the sale of food and drink for consumption on the premises (restaurants, snack bars, cafes etc. – can be a ‘pub’ that sells food and drink)

Use Class A4 – Drinking establishments – Use as a public house, wine-bar or other drinking establishment (where no food or very little is served).

Use Class A5 – Hot food takeaways – Use for the sale of hot food for consumption off the premises.


Check out our changes of change of use table to see which Use Class A use classes enjoy permitted development rights.


Where a property is in two use classes – then it will be classed as sui generis. The one exception is a building with Class E, sub-paragraph (g)  & B2 use as long as the section allocated to B2 is not substantially increased.


Page Updated: 19th November 2021