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I have seen a house which is at the end of a row of houses and which has an extension on the side. The house is D1 council nursery and I would want to change to C3. I have experience of general planning but no experience of change of use. The council just referred me to the planning portal and I have looked on it but am no wiser. I can pay for council planning advice but there is no time to do this as the property is going for auction. Has anyone any experience or advice to give regarding this. Many thanks for any help you can give.
Unfortunately there is no PD or prior approval process for D1 to C3 that Ivan aware of so you will need to submit a change of planning application which may or may not be granted.
Have you check the local council planning register for similar apps I.e. change of use D1 to C3 that have occurred in past few years?
What is the parking situation like both on site and on street as this will be a factor. Also, how long has business been closed and building vacant, and how long has it been marketed for ? This will help determine the potential loss to community.
Have you checked the planning history of the site on council planning register? You may not be the first to have tried and you might see others have failed but if you can address the concerns of council then that's your angle to add value.
Finally, You might want to see if a local planning consultant will give you a free consultation to discuss the matter.
All opinion and advice given should not be relied upon and the usual due diligence should be undertaken in all cases.
Thank you for that information.That is very helpful. I have tried looking on the planning register but had no luck there. How would I find a local planning consultant and would they give me a free consultation?
Google will provide plenty and many will give a free consultantion as its in their interest given that they may get the job of handling the application for you.
Many years ago I did a lot of D1 development. One of the issues from the council perspective is that D1 & D2 tend to be specialist community use (churches, medical surgeries, nurseries) and they need to keep sufficient properties with that use as part of the overall community. You need to establish whether there are too many such buildings in the area or it will be harder to secure change of use and you may need to do a permissions swap (if possible).
Chartered Accountant, Tax Advisor and Mortgage broker
(and BTL portfolio owner)
Thanks Stuart. So I have done a bit more searching and this house plus side extension at the end of a row of houses was used as offices and a meeting centre for adults with learning disabilities. The council are now selling it. Obviously I know there is no definite yes or no answer, but does that info give you any more insight?
D1 change of use can be difficult to get. The key issue as mentioned above is D1 are assets of communitiy value. It varies by council but many will require a D1 property to be marketed for 12 months with no viable buyer/tenant for its existing use before they will allow change of use via planning application. I would be reluctant to buy at auction given the uncertainty, unless it doesn't sell in auction and you can secure a deal post-auction, and that you have a viable exit to sell or lease the property as D1 if you can't get change of use. You could also consider if there is scope for partial change of use, so retaining some D1 usage on the ground floor but converting uppers to some other use.
* New build residential developments and flat conversions in the Home Counties* High end HMOs in Reading and Bracknell
Thanks Guy. I prefer straightforward C3 properties so am becoming less confident about change of use issues.