Change of use planning permission

A change of use of a building can be done as either a full planning application or by using permitted development rights as set out by The Town and Country Planning Order.

Permitted development rights for changes of use generally require you to submit an application to the local planning authority to determine whether its prior approval is required, before the development can proceed. Atticus Planning has dealt with a variety of different types of prior approval applications for changes of use, some of which have helped form part of a wider strategic planning strategy for the redevelopment of a site.

Whether or not you need to apply for full planning permission or progress with the change of use as permitted development for your property depends on where the site is and what the proposal entails; our consultancy is happy to advise on the most appropriate route for you.

A material change of use on a piece of land that is free from built development will generally require planning permission. Atticus Planning can advise on the best steps to increase your chances of success with an application, then help prepare, submit and manage the application on your behalf.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is change of use planning permission?

    A material change of use of land or buildings constitutes development in planning terms, requiring planning permission. Examples of this include turning an agricultural field into a residential garden.

    There are certainly permitted development rights which allow some changes of use of buildings without the need for planning permission. However, an application for prior approval is generally required first. It is best to check with your local planning authority or local planning consultant to determine what type of consent (if any) is needed for your proposal.

    Do you need planning permission for a change of use?

    In the UK, a change of use can sometimes require planning permission. However, whether or not planning permission is needed depends on the type of change of use and the relevant local planning regulations.

    In general, if you are changing the use of a building from one class to another within the same use class category, planning permission may not be required. For example, if you are changing a shop to a café, both of which fall under Use Class A1, you may not need planning permission. However, this rule has exceptions, and it is always best to check with your local planning authority.

    If you are changing the use of a building to a different use class category, then planning permission is likely to be required. For example, planning permission is usually necessary if you change a shop (Use Class A1) to a residential property (Use Class C3).

    It is important to note that even if planning permission is not required for a change of use, you may still need to comply with building regulations and other legal requirements. Therefore, it is always best to seek advice from a professional, such as an architect or planning consultant, to ensure you comply with all relevant regulations.

    Do I need building regulations approval for a change of use?

    Yes, you may need building regulations approval for a change of use in the UK. Building regulations are separate from planning permission, and they apply to the construction, alteration, and extension of buildings to ensure they are safe, healthy, and energy efficient.

    When changing the use of a building, you may need to make changes to the building's structure, fire safety provisions, electrical and plumbing systems, ventilation, and accessibility, among other things. These changes may require building regulations approval.

    The requirements for approval of building regulations will depend on your project's specifics and the relevant regulations. You can apply for building regulations approval through your local building control authority, which can be either the local authority or a private building control body.

    For more information and advice, contact one of our experts now.

    How do I apply for change of use planning permission?

    You can apply for a change of use planning permission through your local planning authority by submitting an application and paying a fee.

    How long does it take to get change of use planning permission?

    The time it takes can vary depending on the complexity of the application and local authority processes.

    What is the difference between planning permission and building regulations approval for change of use?

    Planning permission and building regulations approval are two separate requirements, with building regulations applying to the safety and efficiency of the building itself.

    Can I convert a commercial property into a residential property without planning permission?

    Converting a commercial property to a residential property may require planning permission, depending on the specifics of the change and local planning regulations.