Planning Geek

Use Class E – Shops, offices, cafes, restaurants, GPs, Light industrial, creches, gyms and much more!

Use Class EUse Class E of the Use Classes Order 1987 (as amended) was introduced on 1st September 2020 and covers the former use classes of A1 (shops), A2 (financial and professional), A3 (restaurants and cafes) as well as parts of D1 (non-residential institutions) and D2 (assembly and leisure) and puts them all into one new use class. 

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


NEW: See Class MA for Class E to Residential opportunities – click here

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


SPECIAL:Property on Fire Podcast on Class E and which opportunities might lie ahead for Commercial to Resi!
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Use Class E is as follows…..

Use Class E – Commercial, Business and Service –

Use, or part use, for all or any of the following purposes—
a) for the display or retail sale of goods, other than hot food, principally to visiting members of the public, (shops & Post Offices etc.)
b) for the sale of food and drink principally to visiting members of the public where consumption of that food and drink is mostly undertaken on the premises, (cafes & restaurants)
c) for the provision of the following kinds of services principally to visiting members of the public—
(i) financial services, (banks & building societies )
(ii) professional services (other than health or medical services), or (estate & employment agencies etc.)
(iii) any other services which it is appropriate to provide in a commercial, business or service locality, 
d) for indoor sport, recreation or fitness, not involving motorised vehicles or firearms, principally to visiting members of the public,
e) for the provision of medical or health services, principally to visiting members of the public, except the use of premises attached to the residence of the consultant or practitioner, (Doctors, clinics & health centres, acupuncture clinic etc.) ,
f) for a creche, day nursery or day centre, not including a residential use, principally to visiting members of the public,
g) for—
(i) an office to carry out any operational or administrative functions, (Offices)
(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.  (Light Industrial)

Check out our changes of change of use table to see which Use Class E 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 Use Class E, sub-paragraph (g) & B2 use as long as the section allocated to B2 is not substantially increased.


Page Updated:  12th March 2022

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