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As we saw in a previous blog the property class E (commercial, business and service) which was introduced in England on 1st September 2020 was part of a reform of the Use Class Order that allows for a mix of uses on a premises. It was introduced to acknowledge the fact that a building may have several different uses running at the same time, or at different parts of the day. It also means property owners do not need planning permission to change the use of their building unless it requires external structural changes. Buildings within Class E can also be marketed for use across multiple sectors, increasing the number of potential tenants.

Parts A and D of the original Schedule to the Use Classes Order have been deleted. Use Classes A1, A2, A3, B1, parts of D1 and D2 are now part of the new Use Class E

There are some noteworthy (and expected) exclusions from Class E.
Drinking establishments (formerly A4), ‘hot food takeaways’ (A5) and cinemas and bingo halls (D2) have been excluded and now fall within the ‘Sui Generis’ use class and will need bespoke planning permissions

Because Class E is such a wide-ranging class, we’ve put together a handy guide to show all the sections within it.


E(a) For the display or retail sale of goods, other than hot food.

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E(b) For the sale of food and drink mainly to visiting members of the public where food and drink is mostly eaten on the premises.

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Financial, professional, or other commercial services

E (c) For the provision of the following kinds of services:

  • financial
  • professional (other than health or medical services)
  • any other services which it is appropriate to provide in a commercial, business or service locality

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Publicly accessible indoor sport, recreation or fitness

E(d) For indoor sport, recreation, or fitness, not involving motorised vehicles or firearms.

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Publicly available medical or health services

E(e) For the provision of medical or health services, except the use of premises attached to the residence of the consultant or practitioner.

Crèches, day nurseries and day centres

E(f) For a crèche, day nursery or day centre, not including a residential use.

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Offices, including research and development

E(g) Offices to carry out any operational or administrative functions:

  • Research and development of products or processes
  • Industrial processes – any industrial process which can be carried out in any residential area without detriment to the amenity.

office buiding vector image

According to an article on the impact of these changes is still to be assessed, taking into account all the major events that have affected the world in the last two years.

When you search for commercial property on NovaLoca you can tailor the search by entering a keyword (e.g. restaurant) in our search bar.

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