B1 Use Class Business & Offices

B1 Use Class refers to an allowable business use under the Use Classes Order and comprises three keys aspects including:
– Offices, although other than those that fall within A2 (Financial and Professional Services) Use.
– For research and development (R&D) of products or processes purposes
– Light industry which is appropriate within a residential area. Such use needs not to be a detriment to the amenity of that area, for example, noise, vibration, smell, fumes, smoke, soot, ash, dust or grit.

For other business uses, please see the relevant information for General Industrial, Storage/ Distribution, for more public buildings as well as Sui Generis.

Change of use – B1 use class

While there are limited opportunities to change from a B1 use class to other uses under permitted development regulations, there are several permitted development opportunities to change from B2, B8, A1, A2 and Sui Generis uses (including betting shops, payday loan shops, laundrettes and agricultural buildings) into a B1 use class. Some such changes of use require Prior Approval from the Local Planning Authority. Advice and confirmation, should be sought, from the Local Planning Authority or relevant RTPI Planning Consultant, prior to any change of use taking place.

Properties may not benefit from permitted development changes of use (for example due to planning conditions or being within an Article 4 area etc) or alternative uses may be sought, including changes of use from B1 use class to C3 dwelling houses or B1 use class to D1 and therefore a planning application would need to be submitted to achieve planning permission.

B1 Use class examples

At Plande, we have been involved with a variety of B1 use class projects, including new build, extensions and change of use both from and to a B1 use class, including mixed-use buildings comprising multiple uses.

We have been involved with a range of different locations in relation to the B1 use class including within urban areas – Town Centres, edge of town centres etc as well as other locations such as out of centre and rural locations.

Whether the project is for a sole B1 use class or a mixed-use, a separate building or part of a larger development or a single storey detached ancillary building all the way to a high-rise office block, Plande can help you to achieve planning permission for your B1 use class project – contact us today to discuss how we can help.

B1 Use Class Business & Offices

The following case studies provide a small sample of the different types of B1 Use Class (Business & Offices) we have been involved with.

B1 Use Class speculative commercial office block

8 no. Two Storey (B1 Use Class) Speculative Office Units, totalling c. 60,000 sq ft

Forming an extension to an existing Industrial Estate in Stockport; the development of 4 units, ranging from 24,000 sq ft to 40,000 sq ft, providing high-quality accommodation for blue-chip tenants. Each unit comprised two storey (B1 use Class – Business) office accommodation to the front, with portal framed large span (B2, B8) industrial space to the rear.

Located under the flight path for Manchester Airport, careful consideration and designs were required, along with the relevant approvals.

Local Planning Authority: Stockport Council

B1 Use Class with storage and distribution industrial

4 no. B2/ B8 Industrial Units, with ancillary B1 Use Class two storey office accommodation, totalling c. 140,000 sq ft in Stockport

The development of 8 units, ranging from 5,000 sq ft to 12,000 sq ft, provided high-quality Office accommodation in a landscaped setting. The site was part brownfield and part greenfield and required careful consideration and a new access junction to the main road along with a new bowling green as part of the Section 106 contributions.



Local Planning Authority: Stockport Council

B1 Use Class Mixed Retail Development

Mixed Use Development comprising A1 Retail and two storeys of (B1 Use Class) Office Accommodation, Cheshire

The proposed development consists of a retail unit at ground floor level, and (B1 Use Class) office accommodation at first and second floor levels. The design of the development responds not only to the individual character of the town, but also to the site’s urban location at a crossroads, marking the start of the retail and commercial heart of the village. Care was taken to ensure the building not only activates all street edges but also engages positively with the streetscape.


Local Planning Authority: Trafford Council

see also: A1 Retail; Mixed Use

D1 Use Class change of use to Medical Centre

Change of use from B1 Office to Specialised Ability Centre in Manchester.

An existing B1 Office block, which had been vacant for a number of year, was purchased by our client, Opcare and required a change of use into a specialised facility (D1 use). A full programme of conversion and refurbishment was undertaken including the creation of a dedicated new entrance.

An article in the Manchester Evening News stated:

“The state-of-the-art Specialised Ability Centre in Sharston, Wythenshawe, provides some of the most advanced care and rehabilitation in the country for 2,600 patients needing replacement limbs in Greater Manchester and Cheshire.

The centre also provides wheelchair services and other help for around 11,000 people across the region.

The centre is run by Wythenshawe Hospital and was created in partnership with prosthetic limb company Opcare.

It was opened by Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham.

Leigh MP Mr Burnham said: “The state-of the art facilities at the Specialised Ability Centre will be of real benefit to patients across Greater Manchester and East Cheshire.

“The treatment and support offered here by the hospital’s specialist teams will continue to help many patients to live active lives.”

The centre houses one of the largest specialist prosthetic physiotherapy departments in the country, as well as nursing, medical, and prosthetic assessment rooms, an occupational therapy department and a counselling room.”

Local Planning Authority: Manchester City Council

D1 Use Class change of use to Training Facility

Change of Use of detached building (c. 1,000 sq ft) to B1 (Office) outside of Town Centre boundary

Located outside of the designated Town Centre, a Sequential Test and Assessment was carried out justifying the change of use to a B1 use and illustrating that there were no available, suitable and viable premises within the Town Centre.

Local Planning Authority: Trafford Council

B1 Use Class change of use to Nursery

Change of Use from B1 Use Class to Day Care Nursery

Change of Use of B1 Office rural building into Daycare Nursery

Conversion and Change of Use of existing historic building into Day Care Nursery. A new business wished to lease a vacant existing office building set within open countryside. Planning Permission achieved following negotiation with the Planning Department and Highways Department, including issues on road/ highways safety, parking, vehicular movement and the integration of the external play space within the character of the building and countryside.

Project Achievements: Conversion of building outside of existing settlement boundary, sensitive conversion integrating into historic context.

ocal Planning Authority: Flintshire County Council

see also: D1 Non-Residential institution; B1 Offices; Community Facilties; Barn Conversion; Rural Development

B1 Use Class Apartments change of use

Change of use from Apartment to B1 Use Class



Local Planning Authority: Trafford Council

B1 Use Class change of use to houses

Conversion and Part New Build, Hale, Altrincham

The existing building contained a self-contained apartment, a two storey B1 Use Class Office suite and large Retail Unit. The approved scheme proposed the removable of unsympathetic additions and the replacement with sensitive extensions to create a residential development of two contemporary family homes. The site dimensions created challenges in meeting the LPA space standards however it was successfully argued that the overall development did not have a material impact on the immediate neighbours’ amenity or privacy.

Local Planning Authority: Trafford Council

B1 Use Class change of use from dwellinghouse

Change of Use from Residential Dwelling to B1 use class, Altrincham, Cheshire

Following the expiration of a temporary approval, we secured a permanent planning approval for the change of use of a terraced house into a B1/ D1 training centre contrary to planning policies and with several objections to the proposals. Approvals also sought to amend the restrictive opening hours and other onerous conditions to the original approval.

Local Planning Authority: Trafford Council

see also: D1 Training Centre; C3 Dwellinghouse

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This page provides an introduction only and is not a definitive statement of the law and should therefore not be relied upon.
The information above relates to England only. Policies across the rest of the UK may differ.
Contact your Local Planning Authority for advice and confirmation before any works are carried out.