Change of Use

Change of Use planning seeks to change the use of existing buildings from one planning class to another.

What is Change of use?

Anything that is considered to be a ‘material’ change of use needs planning permission. What is determined as material will depend on the circumstances of each case and is decided by the local planning authority (LPA)


A Change of Use Application is submitted to change the use of an existing building from one planning class to another, for example from Class E, a retail shop or restaurant to a sui generis use. Many changes are permitted development or require some form of prior approval or notification.

We have worked on many projects where the conversion of a building included a change of use.

Please take a look through the various sectors in the menu above, where you will find links to some of the many projects we have worked on, where one panning class has been changed to another.  Change of use planning is very common, but the procedure can be quite complicated. Plande has huge experience in this field and can even achieve a positive outcome where others have failed.


Contact our Change of Use team by completing the form or by using the details below:

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There Are Two Main Types of Change of Use Planning


This involves changing the use of a business premises from one planning class to another. This happens frequently on the high street when for example, a former betting shop becomes a retail shop. A former restaurant may change into a takeaway only. When a business moves from one primary function to another then this will require a change of use planning permission, obtained through an application.

These include changing the use of retail premises to any other planning class, such as Tuition Centres or Drinking Establishments amongst others. Please look at Use Classes in the menu for more examples.


The process is also prevalent in the private residential sector, for example, Barn conversions. involving the change of use of traditional or rural buildings into a dwellinghouse, or where one building changes from one use to another. Such as converting a commercial property to residential. These changes will require a change of use application to be submitted in order to obtain the appropriate permission.

Another typical example is where a large building is converted into flats. Please take a look through the classes above for the example which applies to you.

This also covers change of use of agricultural land to residential and permitted development change of use, such as changing offices into apartments.



The following are a sample of interesting or challenging projects.

How Can Plande Help?


Plande has experience of working on change of use planning applications with local Planning Authorities right across the UK. It is this local knowledge that puts us way ahead of our competition. We can give you all the help and assistance necessary to get the job done in the most cost-efficient and effective way.


We provide detailed help and advice and can even provide the necessary drawings – or work with your existing Architect or Design Team. Whatever it takes to prepare the groundwork to obtain your change of use planning permission. This can include locations plans, site plans, floor plans and elevations.


A Summary Of What We Can Do For You

  • If you are a new business owner – we can get consent for your business premises.
  • Submit planning applications for all Class A, B, C, D, E, F and Sui Generis use classes.
  • Submit plans for commercial to residential projects.
  • Work on vacant property conversions – bringing a new lease of life to unused properties.
  • Attain other approvals such as advertisement consent for commercial schemes to maximise your property value
You maximise your property value

Disclaimer: 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. All images used are for illustrative purposes only. Read the full disclaimer here.

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Whether you need an expert on your team to secure change of use permission for a major mixed-use scheme or a unique self-build home, our fresh planning insights will help you achieve your goal.