Changes of use without planning application

A number of new automatic planning permission rights are due to come into force on 30 May.

Change of use of existing office buildings to homes will be allowed. This right will not apply to specified parts of 17 councils’ areas.

Buildings used for retail, financial services, restaurants, pubs and hot food takeaways, offices, leisure and assembly will, for a single period of up to 2 years, be  able to change to retail, financial services, restaurants and cafes, and offices.

Agricultural buildings of under 500 sq m will be able to change to various business uses. Buildings of 150-500 sq m will require prior approval of the council to make sure the proposed change of use would not have unacceptable impacts, for example, noise or highway problems.

In the case of certain already permitted changes of use between offices/light industry, general industry and storage/distribution, the floor area threshold will increase from 235 sq m to 500 sq m.

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