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Change of Use & Planning Permission – What You Need to Know


Change of Use - Image

 

Do I Need Planning Permission? 

 

If you are looking to change the use of a property, there are many things that you need to know before going ahead. One of these things is whether planning permission will be necessary.

 

Planners categorise all buildings by their use class, i.e. offices, dwellings, etc. Certain use classes can be converted to other certain use classes without needing planning permission. This is called permitted development. Please note that permitted development policies vary between England and Wales.

 

https://www.planningportal.co.uk/wales_en/info/4/your_responsibilities/47/planning_permission/2

 

For example, if you wanted to change a restaurant into a hairdresser's, planning this change of use class does not require planning permission as it is permitted development. However, if the hairdressers were going to be converted into a restaurant, planning permission would be required as there is no permitted development right for this conversion in Wales.

 

We recently worked on a project that required planning permission for a change of use. We were approached by our client to assist with the conversion of a doctor’s surgery into six apartments. The doctors’ surgery and the apartments needed planning permission from the local authority due to being in different use classes. 

 

What Is Needed When Applying for Planning Permission? 

 

The following documents have to be included within the application to apply for planning permission; 

 

•    Relevant plans of the site and elevations if there are any alterations to the facades.  

•    Supporting documentation. 

•    The Application Form. 

•    The correct fee. Learn how to calculate this for both Wales and England.

Wales: https://ecab.planningportal.co.uk/uploads/welsh_application_fees.pdf and for

England: https://1app.planningportal.co.uk/FeeCalculator/Standalone?region=1.

 

The Local Planning Authority then decides whether to grant the planning and will usually make a decision within eight weeks. 

 

What Influences the Local Planning Authority’s Decision? 

 

 They base their decision on the following criteria: 

 

•    The number, size, layout, siting and external appearance of buildings. 

•    The infrastructure available, e.g. roads and water supply. 

•    Any landscaping needs. 

•    What you want to use the development to be. 

•    How your development would affect the surrounding area, e.g. if it would create lots more traffic.

 

Do I need Building Regulations for my Project?

 

If your change of use does not require planning permission, it may mean that your project still needs building regulations.

 

Still Not Sure If Your Project Needs Planning Permission? 

 

If you’re still not sure that your project requires planning permission, the best option is to chat with people who will know. Our architects can advise if your project needs planning permission or even building regulations.

 

If you are undertaking a project and would like to receive some advice regarding planning permissions or building regulations, please get in touch. Call the office on 01633 744144 or email admin@ra-architects.co.uk to arrange a free one-hour consultation.