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Change of use

Change of use

Commercial sites and premises are given 'use classes' which means certain types of businesses can operate without applying for planning permission.  To change from one use class to another, you may need to submit a planning application for Change of Use.

Flexible uses

For a temporary period of up to two years it will be allowed to change the use of a building and any land within its curtilage to a flexible use without requiring full planning permission of the following various uses:

Change from: A1 (shops), A2 (financial and professional services), A3 (restaurants and cafes), A4 (drinking establishments, Class A5 (hot food takeaways), B1 (business), D1 (non-residential institutions) and D2 (assembly and leisure)

Change to: Class A1 (shops), Class A2 (financial and professional services), Class A3 (restaurants and cafes) or Class B1 (business)

Development will be permitted subject to meeting certain conditions and provided that:

  • the change of use relates to no more than 150 square metres of floor space in the building
  • the site has at no time in the past relied upon the permission granted by  Class D
  • the site is not and does not form part of a military explosives storage area
  • the site is not and does not form part of a safety hazard area
  • the building is not a listed building or a scheduled monument

Prior to undertaking the change of use, the developer must notify the us on the date that new use will begin and what that use will be. If this does not occur the change of use will not be lawful.  

It is not possible to retrospectively do this and a full application for planning permission will be necessary.

Within the two year period it is possible to change the use to a different use within the list but you will again have to notify us of that change of use. After the end of the two year period, the temporary use must cease and the use of the building and land will revert to its original use.