Change of Use Planning
Change of Use Planning Permission projects utilise existing buildings and seek to change the use from one planning class to another. Many changes of use are permitted development or require some form of prior approval or prior notification.
We have also been involved with many projects where the conversion of a building includes a change of use and these are listed in the relevant case studies (including Apartments , Barn Conversions or to single dwellings etc). This page is generally for changes of use with limited external or internal amendments.
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The following case studies provide a small sample of the different types of change of use planning permission and applications we have been involved with, including permitted development changes.
Change of use from B1 Office to Specialised Ability Centre in Manchester.
An existing B1 Office block, which had been vacant for a number of year, was purchased by our client, Opcare and required a change of use into a specialised facility (D1 use). A full programme of conversion and refurbishment was undertaken including the creation of a dedicated new entrance.
An article in the Manchester Evening News stated:
“The state-of-the-art Specialised Ability Centre in Sharston, Wythenshawe, provides some of the most advanced care and rehabilitation in the country for 2,600 patients needing replacement limbs in Greater Manchester and Cheshire.
The centre also provides wheelchair services and other help for around 11,000 people across the region.
The centre is run by Wythenshawe Hospital and was created in partnership with prosthetic limb company Opcare.
It was opened by Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham.
Leigh MP Mr Burnham said: “The state-of the art facilities at the Specialised Ability Centre will be of real benefit to patients across Greater Manchester and East Cheshire.
“The treatment and support offered here by the hospital’s specialist teams will continue to help many patients to live active lives.”
The centre houses one of the largest specialist prosthetic physiotherapy departments in the country, as well as nursing, medical, and prosthetic assessment rooms, an occupational therapy department and a counselling room.”
Local Planning Authority: Manchester City Council
Change of Use of Grade II Listed Church to A3 Use (restaurant and wine bar)
The existing edge of town centre building, in North Wales, had become redundant and a new sustainable use was sought. The change of use proposals met with substantial local objections including Local Councillors using the local press to influence the decision. The Council refused planning permission on the grounds that the change of use application proposals would have an adverse effect on the free flow of traffic and highway safety and that it would have a detrimental affect on the viability and vitality of the town centre.
The planning appeal was submitted and successfully justified the various refusal reasons, including the Councils suggestion that the change of use would have a detrimental effect on the viability of the town. The Planning Inspector accepted all of our arguments and the appeal was allowed.
Local Planning Authority: Denbighshire County Council
see also: A3 Restaurants/ Cafes; D2 Assembly & Leisure; A4 Drinking Establishments; Listed Buildings; Community Facilities; Historic Buildings & Heritage
Change of Use to Dwellinghouse. Cheshire
The initial application for a Change of use/ conversion from granny annex to self contained residential dwelling house was refused planning permission on several grounds. The client sought to convert the existing building into a new house that could be used independently and sold as a family home.
Following a review of the existing application, we concluded that a negotiation and resubmission at the local level stood a greater chance of success. It was noted that an appeal could still have been submitted should this not have been the case.
We created a robust justification for the proposals and pre-application resolved the previous refusal reasons which included highways and parking issues. The application was subsequently recommended for approval subject to a Section 106 agreement for a financial contribution to open space provision within the area.
We successfully argued for a removal of this requirement and the application was subsequently approved with no financial contribution requirement, saving our client several thousand pounds and allowing the property to be sold, creating a substantial profit.
Conversion and Part New Build, Hale, Altrincham
The existing building contained a self-contained apartment, a two storey B1 Office suite and large Retail Unit. The approved scheme proposed the removable of unsympathetic additions and the replacement with sensitive extensions and change the use to create a residential development of two contemporary family homes. The site dimensions created challenges in meeting the LPA space standards however it was successfully argued that the overall development did not have a material impact on the immediate neighbours amenity or privacy.
see also: B1 Office; A1 Retail
Retrospective Change of Use of B8 Storage & Distribution building (c. 18,000 sq ft) to B2 (General Industrial), Macclesfield, Cheshire
Retrospective planning consent was sought for the change of use from a storage building into a part B8 part B2 industrial unit within a rural location in Cheshire.
A recommendation for refusal was proposed to the Planning Committee, by the Planning Department due to perceived noise issues, having received strong objections from the Environmental Health Department and local residents. The Environmental Health Department required a significant and unviable scheme of noise mitigation. We successfully negotiated and persuaded the Committee that the application should be approved as the noise issues were not significantly different than could already be expected and were not significantly louder than the background noise and permission was granted for the change of use accordingly.
Local Planning Authority: Cheshire East Council
see also: B8 Storage; B2 General Industrial; rural development
Change of Use of detached building (c. 1,000 sq ft) to B1 (Office) outside of Town Centre boundary
Located outside of the designated Town Centre, a Sequential Test and Assessment was carried out justifying the change of use to a B1 use and illustrating that there were no available, suitable and viable premises within the Town Centre.
Change of Use from Residential Dwelling to Commercial Training Centre, Altrincham, Cheshire
Following the expiration of a temporary approval, we secured a permanent planning approval for the change of use of a terraced house into a D1 training centre contrary to planning policies and with several objections to the proposals. Approvals also sought to amend the restrictive opening hours and other onerous conditions to the original approval
see also: D1 Training Centre; C3 Dwellinghouse
Change of Use to Day Care Nursery
Change of Use of B1 Office rural building into Daycare Nursery
Conversion and Change of Use of existing historic building into Day Care Nursery. A new business wished to lease a vacant existing office building set within open countryside. Planning Permission achieved following negotiation with the Planning Department and Highways Department, including issues on road/ highways safety, parking, vehicular movement and the integration of the external play space within the character of the building and countryside.
Project Achievements: Conversion of building outside of existing settlement boundary, sensitive conversion integrating into historic context.
Change of Use to Care Home
Conversion and Change of Use to Residential Home for Adults with Autism in Stockport, Cheshire.
Designed for young adults with autism, the building is situated within A Conservation Area in Stockport, nestled in a quiet, tree-lined Victorian avenue. Over three floors this property provides spacious, attractive accommodation for up to six people. There are a range of accommodation options, which include bedrooms with en-suite facilities, studio style rooms and sensory bedrooms as well as a range of communal and personal living rooms.
Local Planning Authority: Stockport Council
Commercial change of use into Vets Practice from detached two storey dwelling.
Located within the heart of Pen-y-Ffordd our client, the Daleside Veterinary Group, purchased a detached two storey dwelling with a view to converting into a high quality Veterinary Clinic, with self contained apartment above.
Converting a residential dwelling into two commercial uses requires substantial works, including fire and acoustic.
An appropriate layout was developed which created a new and separate entrance to the first floor flat (to the side of the building) which allowed the existing access to be utilised for the Vets.
see also: Community Facilities; Sui Generis
more projects added soon.
This page provides an introduction only and is not a definitive statement of the law and should therefore not be relied upon.
The information above relates to England only. Policies across the rest of the UK may differ.
Contact your Local Planning Authority for advice and confirmation before any works are carried out.