What Is Change Of Use

What is change of use?

Change of use means a change in the way a property is used. It can also be described as the alteration in the character of use of land and buildings or the carrying out of any building or land operations not in connection with the use of  land or building, starting a new use or activity on a property, re-establishing a use that was previously abandoned, increasing the intensity or scale of an activity on a property, the enlargement, improvement, or other alteration of any existing building or new building for the purposes of carrying out any activities or operations not related to the original use of that property and the renewal ,maintenance or improvement of any existing public utility service not within a scenic beauty area` of  any the operative master plan .

 Examples of change of use are:

  • Retail to restaurant to Cafe
  • Retail to assembly to leisure
  • Retail to takeaway to office
  • Agricultural buildings to residential
  • Amusements or casinos to residential
  • Light industrial to residential
  • Office to Residential
  • Retail to assembly or leisure
  • Agricultural buildings to flexible commercial use

Unless permitted in terms of a development order, no person shall carry out change of use. Generally, if it is proposed to change from one use class to another, you will need planning permission. Most external building work associated with a change of use is also likely to require planning permission. If you are proposing to change the use of buildings or land, we would always recommend that you seek advice from the local planning authority to confirm whether planning permission is required or not. Additionally, before you lease or buy a property for your business, you should check whether you need to obtain planning permission for its intended use, and if so, your chances of getting it.

Article written by

Priscillah Munangatire

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