The Definition of Commercial Property

Commercial property is defined as such because it is often singled out for special treatment for taxation purposes and by lenders for borrowing purposes. Strictly speaking any property other than land which is non-residential would be considered commercial. In most countries changing the use of a property between residential and commercial is possible only with the permission of the Planning Authority. In the UK the uses of commercial property are defined by Planning Classes, but similar concepts are used elsewhere. The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 laid down a framework as follows:

  • Class A
    • Class A1. Shops
    • Class A2. Financial and professional services
    • Class A3. Food and drink
  • Class B
    • Class B1. Business
    • Class B2. General industrial
    • Class B3. Special Industrial Group A
    • Class B4. Special Industrial Group B
    • Class B5. Special Industrial Group C
    • Class B6. Special Industrial Group D
    • Class B7. Special Industrial Group E
    • Class B8. Storage or distribution
  • Class C
    • Class C1. Hotels and hostels
    • Class C2. Residential institutions
    • Class C3. Dwelling Houses
  • Class D
    • Class D1. Non-residential institutions
    • Class D2. Assembly and leisure

These Use Classes allow the planning Authorities to control behaviour and activity so that noise, fumes, parking of vehicles, movement of goods and people etc will not offend the population generally in their use and enjoyment of their residential property at all times of the day and night.