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Do I need Planning Permission to change the use of a warehouse or factory unit to a temporary mortuary?

Mortuaries are a sui generis use, unless ancillary to some other use of land, a hospital for example.

Sui generis uses are not within any Use Class. Consequently planning permission is required for the:

  • Change in the use to a sui generis use
  • Subsequently for the change in the use to an alternative use, whether that be another sui generis use or a use within a Use Class

Acknowledging the above, if the scale of the use is above de minimis, planning permission is likely to be required to change the use of a warehouse or factory unit into a temporary mortuary.

Should planning control be breached, a local planning authority must decide whether to take enforcement action or not. That enforcement is discretionary was recently reiterated in a Ministerial Statement issued on 13 March 2020 a link to which is below.

https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2020-03-13/HCWS159/

Depending on the form of the enforcement action, there could be a right of appeal.

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