Skip to main content

Planning: Approved Premises

Volume 475: debated on Wednesday 14 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will bring forward proposals to amend planning legislation to provide that bail hostels with fewer than five units are deemed to constitute a separate planning use and that their establishment is subject to planning permission. (205343)

Bail hostels are likely to fall into “Class C2: Residential Institutions” or be considered “sui generis” under the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes Order) 1987, as amended.

Local planning authorities are best placed to determine, taking into account individual characteristics, as to which class or otherwise a particular premises belongs, and also whether a material change of use is involved.

In general, if a local planning authority considers a bail hostel to fall within Class C2, then planning permission may be required for a change of use to a bail hostel, unless the premises was already in C2 use (e.g. as a hospital or nursing home). If a local planning authority considers a bail hostel to be a sui generis use, then planning permission would usually be required for a change of use to a bail hostel. The key test in whether planning permission is required is whether a material change of use has occurred or would occur.

Amendments to the Use Classes Order were made in 2005 after extensive consultation. The use class status of bail hostels was not changed as a result of that review.