Most Common Change of Use Applications

Change of Use to A1 Retail

This class includes:

  • shops
  • hairdressers
  • travel & ticket agencies
  • post offices
  • internet cafes
  • dry cleaners
  • pet shops
  • domestic hire
  • funeral directors
  • retail warehouses

For more information on A1 Use Class click here:
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Change of Use to A2 Financial

This class includes the following professional services:

  • banks
  • building societies
  • estate agents
  • employment agencies

For more information on A2 Use Class click here:
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Change of Use to A3 Restaurant

Class A3 is or the sale of food & drink to be consumed on the premises.

  • restaurants
  • cafés
  • snack bars

For more information on A3 Use Class click here:
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Change of Use to A4 Drinking Establishments

The sale of alcoholic beverages to be consumed on the premises:

  • pubs
  • wine bars
  • (but not including night clubs)

For more information on A4 Use Class click here:
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Change of Use to A5 Hot food Take Out

For the sale of hot food for consumption off the premises. (This is for take-aways with no seating area.)

Change of Use to B1 Offices

For business feasible without detrimental effects such as noise pollution, smoke, dust etc which can be within residential communities.

  • offices
  • product research
  • light industrial processes

For more information on B1 Use Class click here:
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Change of Use to C1 Hotels

Hotels etc with no provision of care services.

  • hotels
  • guest houses
  • boarding houses (does not include hostels)

For more information on C1 Use Class click here:
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Change of Use to C2 Residential

Examples of C2 class institutions:

  • care homes
  • hospitals
  • nursing homes
  • residential colleges
  • residential training centres

Change of Use to C3 Residential

This class has 3 sections:

a, for one person, a couple, family, family + relative, au pair, tutor, chauffeur, nurse. Foster parent + foster child, patient + carer

b, up to 6 people receiving care e.g. supported hostel

c, 6 people or less as one household is not an HMO. Also an owner + lodger, or small religious commune.

Change of Use to D1 Non-residential

Examples of D1 class institutions:

  • clinics
  • health centres
  • crèches
  • day nurseries
  • day centres
  • schools
  • art galleries
  • museums
  • libraries
  • halls for hire
  • place of worship
  • courts
  • education & training centres

For more information on D1 Use Class click here:
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Change of Use to D2 Leisure

Assembly & leisure class use includes:

  • cinemas
  • concert & dance halls
  • bingo halls
  • public swimming pools
  • ice rinks
  • gyms or sports courts
  • (not including motor sports or firearms)

Change of Use to Sui Generis

From the Latin: ‘of its own kind’ e.g.:

  • theatres
  • nightclubs
  • betting shops
  • pay day loan shops
  • large HMOs
  • hostels not providing care
  • filling stations
  • car showrooms
  • retail clubs
  • scrap yards
  • launderettes
  • taxi hire
  • casinos
  • amusement arcades

For more information on Sui Generis Use Class click here:
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London Architect Commercial Architecture is one of London’s top commercial design firms. Our client had looked at commercial architecture firms for an application to change from class use A1 to Mixed Use A1 / A3. The premises had been an undesigned butchers, with the new concept being a smart butchers-come-restaurant. The idea is you can buy your meat then take it to the chef to cook.

It is not the first of its kind in London, although this theme is better known in the client’s native Korea. The two other options are to take your meat home or to visit the restaurant without buying from the butcher.

We designed their interior and branding, using natural elements, which inspired their new name. The new spaces are so appealing that it made the butcher area more upmarket. The restaurant is a complementary space in wood, stone and slate with shelving, branding and even the pipes following the branch theme.

The two spaces have blended seamlessly with the new branding design, and the client loved it. It is a good example of a commercial building interior by a London architect. If you would like to experience this concept store, you will find it on New Malden High Street in South West London


Our client was looking at commercial design firms for a commercial building architect to help him realise his dream for a martial arts studio. He needed a change of use planning application form to go from class use A1 (Retail) to Mixed Use D2 / D1 (Martial Arts Clinic).

He wanted us to help him with the planning application and aslo with interior design for the training area, reception, restaurant and clinical treatment (acupuncture) rooms. We also created spatial designs for the changing rooms, office and waiting area.

We designed the room layout with step-free access in mind, and with each size relating directly to its priority. For example the training studio is the largest space.

We chose materials and finishes to suit the respective functions of each room, for example large mirrors in the training space for the benefit of users, softer finishes in the treatment room to promote rest, and natural colours and materials in the cafeteria area to suit relaxation.

The application for D2 / D1 planning permission was approved for top London architecture firm, Commercial Architecture. This was partly because we commissioned a Transport Assessment Report during the pre-app. stage, which justified the choice of location for the facility. Sutton has good transport links, providing ease of access for the community and further afield, and this also meant we didn’t have to provide a lot of parking.


One of Commercial Architecture’s recent projects was for a change of use A1 to Sui Generis. Our client was looking at the best architecture firms for his change of use planning application to change the class use of his premises from Retail (it had been a toy shop) to Leisure (a health spa). This was a great opportunity for us to make our stamp on London architecture styles by creating a good example of interior design architecture.

Having had a successful career as a tennis pro, it was not surprising that his business interests were in health industry. Also, he had been brought up in Northern Europe, where spa treatments are specialisms. He wanted a commercial building architect to create the ideal setting for his spa treatments, and we know the

finishes to suit each function – which in this case was to promote complete relaxation and rest. He came to Commercial Architecture for planning drawings and for assistance with his change of use application, then he instructed our interior design service and some of our branding products.

We prepared several options at the concept stage, and the renders shown indicate his preferences. His application was then recommended for approval by the planning officer at Westminster Planning Department, subject to a minor alteration. Therefore his change of use application for planning permission is currently pending approval.

More than 300 projects,
and counting...

Due to our knowledge of planning route options, our approval rate is very high.
Our planning consultants and designers have helped over 300 commercial clients
to obtain planning permission for their change of use applications.

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If you need a commercial 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.

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