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Restrictions on change of use

Other than the permitted changes of use listed on the Planning Portal website (link opens in new window) and changes where both uses fall within the same use class, Planning Permission is generally required for a material change of use.

Most external building work associated with a change of use is also likely to require Planning Permission, and the building regulations will apply.

Converting offices

The change of use of B1 (a) offices to C3 dwellings are subject to a number of detailed restrictions. Within Central Bedfordshire, these are:

  1. the premises must have been in use as a B1(a) office immediately before 30 May 2013 or otherwise last used as a B1(a) office
  2. the use of the premises as a C3 dwelling must not begin after 30 May 2016

the premises must not be within a safety hazard area or a military explosives storage area;

  1. the premises must not be a listed building or a scheduled monument and
  2. before the use of the premises as a C3 dwelling begins you must apply to the council to determine whether prior approval will be required

Changing from agricultural use

The change of use of agricultural land or buildings to a flexible use comprising A1 shops, A2 financial and professional services, A3 restaurants and cafes, B1 business, B8 storage or distribution, C1 hotels or D2 assembly and leisure are subject to a number of detailed restrictions. Within Central Bedfordshire, these are:

  1. the building/land must have been solely in agricultural use since 3 July 2012 or, if first brought into use after this date, for a period of ten years
  2. no more than 500 square metres of the agricultural floor space can be subject to a change of use. This is calculated cumulatively including previous changes of use within the agricultural unit
  3. the premises must not be within a safety hazard area or a military explosives storage area
  4. the premises must not be a listed building or a scheduled monument and
  5. if the cumulative floor space of the new use or uses would not exceed 150 square metres, you must notify the Council in writing of the date on which the new use or uses will begin, the nature of the new use or uses and provide a plan indicating the site and buildings which will change use. For changes of use of this scale, must notify the Council before the new use begins, and before any subsequent change of use to one of these other flexible uses or
  6. if the cumulative floor space of the new use or uses would exceed 150 square metres you must apply to the Council to determine whether prior approval will be required before the new use or uses begin

Note: After the site has changed use to this type of flexible use, it is to be treated as having a sui generis use.

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