C1 Use Class – Hotels, boarding and guest houses

C1 Use Class comprises hotels, boarding and guest houses (Bed & Breakfast, Inn, Motels etc) where there is no specific element of care is provided. Where there is such an element of care this may likely fall under C2 use – please see here for more information. C1 Use Class also excludes hostels which may fall under the C2 or Sui Generis use.

Effectively a C1 Use Class could, therefore, be considered as open to the general public, rather than those for occupiers with special needs.

There are limited permitted development changes of use either to of from a C1 Use Class and as such it is likely that all such changes would require planning permission.

Where a planning application is submitted for a C1 Use Class hotel, particular where there is a change from a previous use, especially a residential dwelling, the planning departments will need to satisfy themselves with regards to the number of guests, noise, a loss of housing, unsociable hours, high-turnover of visitors, reducing the sense of community, servicing and crime.

Please contact the experts if you are looking for a C1 Use Class Hotel.

Changes of use from homes to C1 Use Class – short term lets

In recent years with companies, such as Airbnb and short-term holiday let websites becoming very popular as many people are looking to achieve extra income from the homes by offering their properties for rental, either as a whole or in part (for example spare rooms etc).

This is a relatively new area and like many aspects of planning, the use class system and policies generally may seem a little out of date or slow to respond to such changes. As such expert advice from an RTPI Planning Consultant or confirmation from your Local Authority should be sought prior.

Each case should be taken on its individual merits to determine whether a material change of use would occur and what Use Class such use would fall under.

In Greater London, the situation may be a little different with a couple of Acts of Parliament providing some clarification, particularly if the short-term sleeping accommodation does not exceed 90 nights per year.

There can be some significant differences between a residential (C3) and commercial (C1 Use Class – hotel) property outside of the planning system, including health and safety, fire, tax and building regulations requirements and as such professional advice should be sought prior as these unintended consequences may have significant and detrimental impacts.

C1 Use Class Hotels Guest Houses

The following case studies provide a small sample of the different types of C1 Use Class (Hotels, boarding and guest houses) projects we have been involved with.

C1 Use Class Hotels

76 bed contemporary modular extension to existing (C1 Use Class) Hotel in Aberdeen, Scotland

The brief called for the replacement of the existing conference facilities with additional bedrooms for the (C1 Use) Hotel. The client wished to utilise modular construction to speed up the construction phase, although the planning department was adamant that they didn’t want a repetitive dull facade. Utilising a standard module comprising two solid panels and a glazed panel, an elevation was developed to randomly position the glazing, whilst not increasing the cost of construction. The proposed extension faces the main road into Aberdeen and will create an interesting facade during the day and at night and add vibrancy and individuality to the street scene.

Project Challenges:   creating an interesting facade using modular construction and repetitive hotel room windows. Transport assessment commissioned to provide a reduced parking requirement to achieve a higher density of bedrooms. Main road frontage into the centre of Aberdeen required a high-quality façade design. Surrounding properties are generally of two storey accommodation. Planning Officers initial reaction was that any application would be unsuccessful.

Local Planning Authority: Aberdeen City Council

see also: Change of Use

C1 Use Class Hotel Extension

160-bed contemporary modular extension to existing Hotel, Newcastle, North East England (C1 Use Class)

We obtained Outline Planning permission, following protracted planning negotiations (and a previous refusal (by others)), for a substantial 160 bedroom extension to an existing hotel in the North East of England, subject to a number of planning conditions that were felt to be onerous, including placing restrictions on the site that had not been there before the planning approval and in relation to the protection of the adjoining Green Belt. The conditions also placed unnecessary control on the construction method of working as well as on the height of development.

A written representation planning appeal was submitted which successfully argued each point and prevented substantial costs and limitations of the future reserved matters application and construction phase.

The planning inspector commented that the proposed conditions were not necessary, not reasonable, misleading and did not meet the tests required for planning conditions, including that of precision and clarity.

Project Challenges: creating an interesting facade using modular construction and repetitive hotel room windows. Transport Assessment commissioned to provide reduced parking requirement to achieve higher density of bedrooms. Height restrictions due to proximity to Newcastle Airport.

Project Achievements: Additional 5% increase in bedroom numbers from the previously refused applications. Additional 60 parking spaces achieved.

Local Planning Authority: Newcastle City Council

see also: Variation/ Removal of Planning Conditions; Green Belt; Outline Planning Application

C1 Use Class B&B Conversion

Conversion of outbuilding into B&B / Guest House


Local Planning Authority: Flintshire County Council

C1 Use Class Guest House Extension

Extension to existing (C1 Use Class) Guest House to provide additional bedrooms and owners accommodation


Local Planning Authority: Trafford Council

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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.