Q&As

Does a permitted use as a ‘public house’ include the option to serve food, or would the user class need to be widened to Class A3/A4 to allow for this? Is the tenant in breach of its permitted use as a public house if they are serving food? Can the tenant resist widening the user clause?

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Produced in partnership with Kevin Leigh of No 5 Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 05/01/2018

The following Property Q&A produced in partnership with Kevin Leigh of No 5 Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Does a permitted use as a ‘public house’ include the option to serve food, or would the user class need to be widened to Class A3/A4 to allow for this? Is the tenant in breach of its permitted use as a public house if they are serving food? Can the tenant resist widening the user clause?
  • Planning use
  • Extent of user as a ‘public house’
  • Change of use/rent increase
  • Lease renewal

Does a permitted use as a ‘public house’ include the option to serve food, or would the user class need to be widened to Class A3/A4 to allow for this? Is the tenant in breach of its permitted use as a public house if they are serving food? Can the tenant resist widening the user clause?

Planning use

Public house use falls within use Class A4 of the Town and Country Planning (use Classes) Order 1987 (SI 1987/764). The definition describes the Class as ‘Use as a public house, wine-bar or other drinking establishment’. Planning recognises ancillary and incidental uses as being part of a main use. As always, such other uses are a matter of fact and degree as to whether they grow to an extent where they become uses in their own right independent of, even if related to, the original primary use.

Use Class A3 is for food and drink: ‘Use for the sale of food or drink for consumption on the premises’ (Note that in Wales this use Class also permits sale of hot food to be consumed off the premises). Use Class A3 is, therefore, for restaurants and cafes.

The primary purpose of a public house is for drinking refreshments. Selling snacks would arguably be treated as ancillary or incidental to the Class A4 use. The odd sandwich or more substantial snack would

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