D1 use class property are one of the types of commercial properties we deal with at MB&A. A D1 is a property belonging to class D according to the Town & Country Planning Order 1987, and it is generally speaking a non-residential institution.

Under the Town & Country Planning Act 1987, a Class D1 property as a non-residential institution is to be used:

• for the provision of any medical or health services except the use of premises attached to the residence of the consultant or practitioner
• as a crêche, day nursery or day centre
• for the provision of education
• for the display of works of art (otherwise than for sale or hire)
• as a museum
• as a public library or public reading room
• as a public hall or exhibition hall
• for, or in connection with, public worship or religious instruction
The legislation is particularly relevant for those looking to buy, lease, rent or otherwise occupy commercial property. The vast majority of property in England will have had its permissible uses already assigned by its local authority.

Each Class is used by the Local Planning Authority to allow them to create a suitable balance between residential areas and those for business purposes. They have the authority to effectively prohibit a ‘use’ which would be inadvisable due to a particular property’s location or other relevant considerations.

The aim is to prevent types of business activities taking place which would have a detrimental effect on the local community. These uses are strictly controlled and if you want to change the use of a property you may need planning permission from your local authority, particularly if the new use falls outside its existing designated class.

There are important elements to know if you’re looking for a D1 property in London, or want to change a commercial building’s use. These factors should be taken into account before planning permission is granted as they will have an impact on your business:
• The likely number of visitors
• Ease of travel and onsite parking
• Transport options
• Noise pollution and local environmental dangers

In terms of educational use, there are additional factors such as the amount of space and toilet provisions required for each person, and for pupils below the age of 18, outside space as per OFSTED’s recommendations will be taken into account. If you’re looking for a D1 property to rent, you need to be aware that with restricted D1 properties in London, planning permission for your property may be limited e.g. that it may only allow the use as a medical practice or a school or a day nursery or as a place of worship/church etc and not be allowed to be used for another purpose.

This is an area that requires specialist D1 London property knowledge. Our commercial property consultants have extensive experience in advising institutional property owners, developers and investors.

MB&A specialises in D1 property for sale and to let in London. Contact us to ask about properties currently available.

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