Business Premises: A Brief Guide to D1 and D2 Commercial Properties

June 29, 2017Diana Lengerson


Choosing the right premises for your business can be difficult, with many different options. Should you buy or lease? What location is best? And what amenities and services do you need?

For many business owners, it’s a case of choosing between serviced or leased offices, but for commercial companies, it’s an altogether different ball game. Commercial businesses need to look for premises that are categorised as D1 or D2. Companies like Devono Property Ltd offer both D1 and D2 premises, but many people don’t know the difference between these classes, or which one they should be looking for.

To help you in your search for new premises, here is a brief guide to D1 and D2 commercial properties.

What is D1?

Business properties are ranked by a class system, from the letters A to D, as well as an additional category, sui generis. However, each letter also has a subcategory, such as D1. Broadly speaking, D1 properties house public services. However, if you own a restaurant, shop or pub, you will require an A class property. Institutions that fall under the D1 category include:

  • Schools and education facilities
  • Crèches and nurseries
  • Medical services
  • Places of worship
  • Museums and libraries

The D1 class must also be non-residential. As such, a school with boarding facilities or health services which are part of a home would not be a D1, but a C2 class.

What is D2?

D2 is a little less complicated than D1 and refers to premises that are used for leisure and entertainment purposes. This may include:

  • Cinemas
  • Bingo halls
  • Music, concert and sports venues
  • Ice rinks, swimming baths and gyms

What if Business Needs Change?

Now that you know if your business falls into class D1 or D2, you will be able to find the right premises. However, many businesses go through periods of change, such as expansion or perhaps venturing in a different direction. But when your business is located in D1 or D2 premises, what happens when change occurs?

If the proposed modifications still fall in the existing class, such as converting a cinema and a sports venue, then generally speaking, you will not need planning permission. However, if a class change is required, you will need to submit designs and require planning permission.

While commercial property classification can be a little confusing, hopefully with the help of this guide, you can now search for your D1 or D2 premises. Good luck!

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