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Permitted development rights - change of use

An icon of a crane and house

The government has made changes to legislation to introduce new permitted development rights.

This means that you will need to give us prior notification of certain changes of use rather than applying for planning permission. These changes of use include change of use from:

  • a building from business to residential
  • a building to a school
  • an agricultural building to another use (including residential and schools and nurseries)
  • retail buildings to residential
  • retail buildings to a bank or building society
  • commercial property to a childcare nursery

Notifying us of a change of use

If you think that permitted development applies we recommend that you use the prior approval determination form to notify us in order to ensure that you submit all of the required information.

Apply for prior approval determination

The process requires a developer to notify us before beginning the development, so that we can consider certain impacts that are likely to arise from the development. This notification must comprise of: 

  • A written description of the proposed development
  • A plan of the site, showing the proposed development
  • The developer's contact address
  • The developer's email address if you are content to receive email communication
  • The requisite fee of £96, or £206 if the prior approval involves building operations

In order to enable us to make a judgement on the permitted development, you may wish to include assessments and provide statements setting out how impacts or risks are to be mitigated. It will assist if these documents are included at the outset of the process.

Occasionally we may require further information, or we may refuse prior approval on the basis that the information submitted fails to demonstrate that the impacts and/or risks have been adequately assessed and/or that they can be adequately mitigated.

What happens next?

Once your completed application is received we will notify statutory consultees and publicise the proposed development by displaying a site notice or by serving notice by letter on any adjoining owner or occupier.

Information about the matters which will be considered as part of your application can be found on the Planning Portal - change of use page.

We will also take into account any representations received as a result of the consultation and will have regard to the National Planning Policy Framework before making a decision. We have 56 days to notify you of one of the following outcomes: 

  • That prior approval is not required
  • That prior approval is required, and has been given
  • That prior approval is refused


If your prior approval application is refused, you have the right to submit an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.

For advice and guidance on the appeal process visit the Planning Portal - appeals page.

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