04 Apr 2023
Lichfields’ Use Classes Order Guide summarises, in an easy-to-use chart, all the use classes in Scotland and how it is possible to change from one use to another without having to apply for planning permission.
Recent Changes to the Use Class Order in Scotland
The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Scotland) Order 1997 groups different types of property and land uses into separate ‘use classes’. The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Order 1992 sets out permitted development rights which allow for certain forms of development to take place without the need to apply for planning permission.
Since 2020, the Scottish Government has been carrying out a review of permitted development rights and of the Use Class Order. A three-phased programme is currently being undertaken, with each phase focusing on a different type of development.
Below, we have set out the three phases that are currently being undertaken.
Phase 1 introduced The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development and Use Classes) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2020. This came into force on 1 April 2o21. This order amends the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Order 1992 to introduce new classes of permitted development rights.
Changes were made in relation to introducing new permitted development rights for digital connectivity, agricultural developments, peatland restoration, development in relation to active travel and aquaculture.
In February 2023, legislation was laid before the Scottish Parliament to change use classes and extend permitted development rights. This new legislation is called The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development and Use Classes) (Scotland) Miscellaneous Amendment Order 2023. This came into force on 31 March 2023.
The new legislation amends the use class order to replace use class 1 (shops) and use class 2 (financial, professional and other services) with class 1A (shops, and financial, professional and other services). The new use class 1A groups the uses previously in use class 1 and 2 of the Use Class Order into one single class. This creates an extension of permitted development rights making it easier to convert between uses without the need for planning permission.
In addition, extended permitted development rights were given to electric vehicle charging infrastructure and operational port development.
Phase 3 of the review is set to focus on domestic and non-domestic renewable energy equipment. The consultation is expected to be published in spring 2023. Updates on phase 3 will follow during the course of the consultation.
Lichfields Guide to the Use Classes Order in Scotland
Following the coming into force of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development and Use Classes) (Scotland) Miscellaneous Amendment Order 2023 on 31 March 2023, we have fully revised the Lichfields’ Use Class Order in Scotland Guide. This shows the new use classes and the permitted development rights available for changes of use between each of the various use classes.
The Lichfields’ ‘Guide to the Use Classes Order in Scotland’ has been significantly revised to show the change of use permitted development rights that have come into force and to provide a comparison of current use classes and use classes prior to 31 March 2023.
Please contact us if you wish to discuss any elements of the guide.
Download guide to Use Classes Order in Scotland