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Use Classes and Permitted Changes of Use

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This information is for guidance purposes only, for any clarification you should either contact the Development Management Team or refer to the following legislation and all subsequent amendments:

  • The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Order 1992
  • The Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997
  • The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Scotland) Order 1997

Planning permission is a change in the use of land or buildings. What amounts to a material change in the use of the land depends on the facts and circumstances of each case. If in doubt clarification should be sought from the Development Management Team. 

The 1997 order groups similar types of use together into separate classes. Where a building or land is used for a purpose which is included in a particular class, the use of that building or land for any other purpose in the same class shall not be taken to involve development and therefore would not require planning permission. This is subject to conditions in certain circumstances. A change in the use of land or buildings is considered as development and therefore normally requires planning permission.

Any use not falling within a specified class falls into the Sui Generis category. Sui Generis is a Latin expression, literally meaning of its own kind or unique in its characteristics. Except in the case of changes permitted from car sales and hot food take-away use, planning permission is required for any change to or from any Sui Generis use. This guide shows some of the recognised Sui Generis uses, but this list is not exhaustive and other uses may be Sui Generis even though not specifically mentioned.

Use Class

Use description

Change Permitted

Class 1
Shops

Use -
(a) for the retail sale of goods other than hot food;
(b) as a post office;
(c) for the sale of tickets;
(d) as a travel agency;
(e) for the sale of cold food for consumption off the premises;
(f) for hairdressing;
(g) for the direction of funerals;
(h) for the display of goods for sale;
(i) for the hiring out of domestic or personal goods or articles;
(j) as a launderette or dry cleaners; or
(k) for the reception of goods to be washed, cleaned or repaired;
where the sale, display or service is principally to visiting members of the public.

Planning permission required for change of use to any other class.

Sui Generis

Use -
(a) for the sale of fuel for motor vehicles; or
(b) for a taxi business or for the hire of motor vehicles.

Planning permission required for change of use to any other class.

Class 2
Financial, Professional and other services

Use for the provision of -
(a) financial services;
(b) professional services; or
(c) any other services (including use as a betting office);
which it is appropriate to provide in a shopping area and where the services are provided principally to visiting members of the public.

e.g. offices of accountants, dentists, doctors, solicitors, beauticians, estate agents

Change of use to Class 1 permitted.

Planning permission required for change of use to any other class.

 

Class 3
Food and Drink

Use for the sale of food or drink for consumption on the premises.

e.g. cafes, restaurants, snack bars

Change to Class 1 and Class 2 permitted.

Planning permission required for change of use to any other class.

Sui Generis

Use for the sale of hot food for consumption off the premises.

e.g. pizza shops, takeaways, kebab shops, fish and chip shops

Change to Class 1 and 2 permitted.

Planning permission required for change of use to any other class.

Sui Generis Use as a public house. Planning permission required for change of use to any other class.

Class 4
Business

Use-
(a) as an office, other than a use within class 2 (financial, professional and other services);
(b) for research and development of products or processes; or
(c) for any industrial process;
being a use which can be carried on 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.

Change of use to Class 6 (up to 235sqm of floor space only)

Planning permission required for change of use to any other class.

 

Class 5
General Industrial

Use for the carrying on of an industrial process other than one falling within class 4 (business).

Change of use permitted to Class 6 (up to 235sqm of floor space only) or to Class 4.

Planning permission required for change of use to any other class.

Sui Generis

Use -
(a) for any work registerable under the Alkali etc. Works Regulations Act 1906;
(b) as a scrap yard or yard for the breaking of motor vehicles; or
(c) as a waste disposal installation for incineration, chemical treatment (as defined in Annex IIA to Directive 75/442/EEC under heading D9), or landfill of waste to which Directive 91/689/EEC applies.

Planning permission required for change of use to any other class.

Class 6
Storage or Distribution

Use for storage or as a distribution centre.

Change to Class 4 permitted.

Planning permission required for change of use to any other class.

Sui Generis

Storage or distribution of minerals

Planning permission required for change of use to any other class.

Class 7
Hotels and Hostels

Use as a hotel, boarding house, guest house, or hostel where no significant element of care is provided, other than premises where alcohol (within the meaning given by section 2 of the Licensing Scotland Act 2005) is sold, pursuant to a premises licence issued under that Act to persons other than residents or to persons other than persons consuming meals on the premises and other than a use within class 9 (houses).

Planning permission required for change of use to any other class.

Class 8
Residential Institutions

Use -
(a) for the provision of residential accommodation and care to people in need of care other than a use within class 9 (houses);
(b) as a hospital or nursing home; or
(c) as a residential school, college or training centre.

Planning permission required for change of use to any other class.

Class 8A
Secure residential institutions
Use for the provision of secure residential accommodation, including use as a prison, young offenders institution, detention centre, secure training centre, custody centre, short-term holding centre, secure hospital, secure local authority accommodation or use as military barracks. Planning permission required for change of use to any other class.

Class 9
Houses

Use -
(a) as a house, other than a flat, whether or not as a sole or main residence, by-
(i) a single person or by people living together as a family, or
(ii) not more than 5 residents living together including a household where care is provided for residents;
(b) as a bed and breakfast establishment or guesthouse, not in either case being carried out in a flat where at any one time not more than 2 bedrooms are, or in the case of premises having less than 4 bedrooms 1 bedroom is, used for that purpose.

Planning permission required for change of use to any other class.

Sui Generis

Use as a residential flat

Planning permission required for change of use to any other class.

Class 10
Non-residential Institutions

Use, not including residential use -
(a) as a creche, day nursery or day centre;
(b) for the provision of education;
(c) for the display of works of art (otherwise than for sale or hire);
(d) as a museum;
(e) as a public library or public reading room;
(f) as a public hall or exhibition hall; or
(g) for, or in connection with, public worship or religious instruction, or the social or recreational activities of a religious body; or
(h) as a law court.

Planning permission required for change of use to any other class.

Class 11
Assembly and Leisure

Use as -
(a) a cinema;
(b) a concert hall;
(c) a bingo hall or casino;
(d) a dance hall or discotheque; or
(e) a swimming bath, skating rink, gymnasium or area for other indoor or outdoor sports or recreation, not involving motorised vehicles or firearms.

Planning permission required for change of use to any other class.

Sui Generis

Use as -
(a) an amusement arcade or centre or funfair; or
(b) a theatre

Planning permission required for change of use to any other class.


Interpretation

In this document the following expressions have the meanings assigned to them:

  • Care means personal care including the provision of appropriate help with physical and social needs or support; and in class 8 (residential institutions) includes medical care and treatment;
  • Day Centre means non-residential premises which are used for social purposes, recreation, rehabilitation or occupational training and at which care is also provided;
  • Industrial Process means a process, other than a process carried out in or adjacent to, a mine or quarry, for or incidental to
    (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 use other than agriculture.
  • Site means the whole area of land within a single unit of occupation;
  • Support means counselling or other help provided as part of a planned programme of care.

For further information, please contact us.