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B1 Use Class Business & Offices

B1 Use Class refers to an allowable business use under the Use Classes Order and comprises three keys aspects

What is Use Class B1 - 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, depending on where the site is located, there are several permitted development opportunities to change from B2 or B8 use into a B1 use class.

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 use class B1 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.



The following are a sample of interesting or challenging projects.

Does B1 Use Class Still Exist?

In England, from 1st September 2020, changes were made to the Use Classes Order. The B1 use class is revoked and generally incorporated within a new Class E use (Commercial, Business & Service).

Northern Ireland & Wales - Class B1 Business

This use class is still applicable in Wales and Northern Ireland although the specific allowable inclusions or exclusions, as well as allowable permitted development changes of use, may vary from those stated above.

Scotland - Class 4 - Business Use

In Scotland, Class 4 – Business is the use class for use as an office, other than a use within class 2 (financial, professional and other services); for research and development of products or processes; or 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.

Disclaimer: 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. All images used are for illustrative purposes only. Read the full disclaimer here.

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