Change of Use Planning Permission


You need to apply for change of use planning permission if, for instance, you would like to convert a retail premises into a residential premises. You may have noticed that some old pubs have been turned into houses over the last few years and this type of change needs an application for change of use. 


A change of use application is often needed even if no physical changes are being made to the building. As you may expect, a change of use is enough to trigger an application. 


In some cases planning permission  may not be required as stipulated in the Town and Country Planning Order 1987. In September 2020  there was a reconfiguration of the Use Classes so it is important that you are advised on what the latest position is. The main articles of change means that there is more flexibility for changes of use. This has affected the following Classes: A1 (retail), A2 (financial and professional services), A3 (restaurants and cafes), B1 (business), parts of D1 (non-residential institutions) and D2 (assembly and leisure) are now combined into a single new Use Class: Class E, which is Commercial, Business and Service. Changes between these uses will no longer imply development and will not require planning permission.   


These changes are new and complex and there are exceptions so they should be confirmed by your personal Kaiser commercial lease solicitor. 


Some people who were unaware of the change of use application and have changed the use of a property without having permission granted may still be protected if:


  1. a) The change of use happened four or more years ago


This applies to certain aspects of change of use in certain types of buildings. It is complex and there are exemptions from this rule so you must always take legal advice. 


  1. b) The change of use happened more than ten years ago.


This applies to a wider range of change of use but is not all encompassing. Again it is imperative that you take legal advice. 


Note: The four and ten year rules are usually void if it can be proven that you have deliberately concealed the change of use.


Change of use from business to residential 


You should contact us for relevant information regarding this type of change of use as it is a very specific application. 


As with any legal application attempting to apply for change of use on your own could result in increased waiting times and/or being fined or prosecuted.