MORE THAN 300 PROJECTS, AND COUNTING...
If you need a change of use building architect, we can help you obtain planning permission for your change of use application. We can also do your interior design architecture for your fit-out and branding to blend your service perfectly with the new space.Request a Free Quote
About Change of use Architecture
Change of use Architecture is an architectural practice comprised of Planning Consultants, Architectural & Interior Designers and Senior Architects. We also we have a branding facility, which offers corporate identity design to blend with your newly refurbished space.
Our team is proud to have a proven track record in planning submissions. With over 1400 change of use and residential applications to date, we understand the importance of successfully obtaining planning permission with your first application. This is because it facilitates future applications from change of use landlords or tenants.
The journey begins with our planning consultants who specialise in change of use applications and who can successfully advise regarding even the most rigorous planning policies and conditions. We understand how important your business premises are to you, so we strive to establish correct and lasting permissions for their continued or proposed respective use class.
Planning applications for change of use projects such as new shop fronts, hotels etc.
Change of Use
Change of use applications for changes of use from office use to restaurants, cafés, bars, or retail to residential.
We can design a beautiful fit-out for your retail premises.
We can help with all your branding and corporate ID needs such as signage, point of sale, menu holders and packaging design.
Initial Design Concepts
This phase is to understand your goals. We take a comprehensive brief, then produce initial concepts and a market analysis so we can accurately target our pitch to place your business above the competition.
3D Immersive Design
We present some initial concepts then develop your preference to create your 3D walk-around renders. We will collaborate with you phases, until you are completely satisfied with the finished proposal.
Branding for your business
We also have a branding package for your online and printed Corporate Identity products and web. Our graphic designers can create a strong brand to work perfectly with your new space.
The Refit for your premises
We produce specifications for the fitters to implement the agreed interior design. Our team will specify the materials, and fittings you prefer. Our Project Management service makes this phase easier for you.
- The new Class E came into effect on 1 September 2020. Its purpose is to simplify the existing change of use class system and provide flexibility for owners and leaseholders of retail properties. Essentially, Class E provides a much broader category of uses for retail properties meaning that classes A1 to A5, B1, D1 and D2 are now obsolete. Understanding Class E The new category is applicable to medium and large retail properties seeking a change of use to encompass another commercial business and service. Class E now incorporates Class A1 (retail), Class A2 (financial and professional services), Class A3 (restaurants and cafes), Class B1 (offices) and Class D1 (health/medical uses, creches and nurseries). Please note, Class E does not include small rural shops that have a footprint of under 280 square metres and which sell essential goods and are situated more than 1km from other similar establishments. These are now covered by Class F2. And, it’s also worth noting that the sui generis class is still applicable to beauty salons, nail bars and betting shops, so it’s crucial to know into which class your retail property falls. Why Has Change Of Use Rules Changed? The rationale behind the change is to make the whole process easier for retailers to switch use by not having to seek planning permission. This is an attempt by the Government to help revive the High Street and provide flexibility to owners and leaseholders of retail properties. It is hoped that this will allow retailers to adapt more smoothly to the fluctuating preferences of society. So, for example, with the new Class E in place, if you own or lease a restaurant and you want to change it to an office, you can now do that without planning permission. Previously, you would need permission from your local council for the change of use or you could utilise certain permitted development rights. You would, however, need to seek planning permission in the usual way if you want to make any structural changes to the building in order to make that transition. For owners this means leasing out properties will be more attractive to potential tenants if they are not restricted in terms of the building’s use. Likewise, selling the property will have a broader appeal if the commercial business and service is not fixed. Can You Still Apply For Planning Permission? The new Class E is still in its infancy and the change of categories for some retail properties may not always be straightforward. It’s important to know that you can still apply for planning permission for change of use. This will protect you from any future ambiguities regarding the definition of Class E. There are some transitional regulations in place until 31 July 2021. You can refer to the Planning Portal for more details and, importantly, check with your Local Planning Authority (LPA) for specific information for your area....
- Many businesses and properties change, from structural alternations to a shift in industry. However, it’s vital to understand what use class your building falls under so that you can make the appropriate changes and stay inline with Government regulations. Let’s dive into building use classes and discover why they’re so crucial for your property. What Is A Use Class? Every building or piece of land has an allocated category, known as a use class. It’s important to know what class a facility falls under because you need to make sure the right permit development rights cover your building work. In some situations, you may need to change your building’s use class to ensure the correct permits protect your work. What Are The Different Use Classes? There are a total of six use classes. These have changed in 2020, with the publication of ‘The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020’ coming into force in September. In this amendment, the UK Government removed the old classes A, D, and B1(a). These include: Class B- businesses which primarily serve people Class C- Locations where people sleep Class E- Commercial, Business and Service Class F1- learning and non-residential institutions Class F2- local community Sui Generis- unique locations (e.g. pubs, takeaways, theatres) How Do I Find The Use Class Of A Building? No fixed list details every building’s use class, which can make it tricky for property owners to nail down which category their building belongs in. It will take some digging to find the registered use class for your property, but there are some simple ways to get started with the search: Are there any previous applications for a change of use that can give you an indication? What was the property originally built for? Was it owned by a public body in the past? Are there any old leases that can give you an idea of its use class? Your local authority might be able to offer some guidance on this, but it’s still worth doing some independent research to be safe. What If I Need To Change The Use Class Of My Building? If you’re looking to conduct some building work or invest in a property to renovate it, then you may need to apply for a Change of Use with your local authority. Often associated with a planning permission application for larger projects, your Change of Use application will vary from property to property depending on its original classification. How Can Commercial Architecture Help? If you’re looking to file a Change of Use application in the London area, then Commercial Architecture can help. Our team of expert architects have experience in obtaining planning permission and smoothly moving through building regulations in London to help get your project off the ground. We can even make 3D graphic visualisations of the finished product, enhancing the professionalism and success rate of your application. Get In Touch To Find Out More....
- When you’re going through the development process and attempting to create some residential accommodation for the community, you can often come up against D1 buildings. This article will give you a full explanation of what exactly a D1 building is, why it can be so difficult to convert it to a residence, and what you can do to make the transition faster? What Is A D1 Property? A D1 property is earmarked as one that is beneficial to the wider community. These generally include educational, medical or religious buildings, including churches, schools, doctors surgeries and even community venues such as public halls. This is why it can be tricky to convert a D1 building into a C2 (residential) structure. Housing is deemed to be less important to a community than a school or medical facility as it contributes less to public life in the local area. However, there are a few ways you can convert a D1 property into somewhere people can live. How Can A Change Of Use D1 To Residential Happen? It can be quite difficult to go through this change of status, as D1 properties have “protected” status. This means that you’re unable to change the use of the property without full planning permission, which can be a long process. In addition to this, you’ll often need to prove that the property has been available for at least a year with no acceptable offers being sent to the owners. Where possible, local authorities want these areas to remain of service to the community, but if no bidders are willing to make that happen they will reluctantly allow residential developments. Exceptions To The Rule There are a few ways that you can ensure a change of use from D1 to residential without waiting a year. These include: – Proving that the building is not fit to be used. Whether this is because the building isn’t aligned with fire regulations anymore, the building being in poor condition or having no disabled access. – The cost of getting the building running exceeding the benefit to the community. – Proving that if the building did go on the market, it wouldn’t be an attractive prospect for new occupiers as a community space. If you’re able to do any, or all, of these options, then it will make the switch from D1 to residential much smoother. So What Now? Start the process! You’ll need to remember that getting the status of a building changed is never quick, but by following this guide you should have something of a head start on the hurdles you might be expected to jump through in the process. Once the category changes, you can get on with development and building new homes....