Planning application for a change of use of a former art gallery to a new restaurant and two bedroom flat approved in King's Lynn Norfolk



Shropshire Office


Back Lane

Bomere Heath



Norfolk Office

34 Queen Elizabeth Avenue

Kings Lynn


PE30 4BX

Planning Consultancy

Change of Use Planning Applications

A Change of Use application for Change of Use planning permission can be required in many different circumstances. In the UK, it is a legal obligation to obtain land use consent, and a Change of Use can apply if you want to change retail premises to office premises, or storage premises to retail premises.

The important consideration when looking at a Change of Use is ensuring that your Change of Use planning application is carefully considered to ensure that it has the best prospects of success. 

If you need advice about change of use planning permission and what the process involves, get in touch with our friendly and experienced team today. 


EN-PLAN has expertise in planning law and Change of Use planning permission can help you with obtaining land use consent. We can also give advice on the change of use application requirements and negotiating your responsibilities within this sector.

Change of Use Application Requirements

Change of Use Planning permission is often required for any change of use regardless of any alterations of ownership. There may be Change of Use application requirements, and we can guide you through your change of use application.

Whilst there are some classes of use that do not require planning permission (as set out in the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes Order) 1987), we are often asked to help clients that initially believed they did not need Change of Use planning permission. By this time often money has been spent on the cost of a change of use application which is ultimately wasted.

Early initial advice on land use consent from our change of use planning permission experts can help avoid unnecessary costs and advise as to the change of use application requirements and the cost of change of use application.


If you have changed the use of a property or building and you have not obtained permission, you may be protected under the change of use 4 year rule, or the change of use 10 year rule.

Change of use 4 year rule. The change of use 4 year rule applies to a building, or part of a building, which is changed to a single dwelling house. Under this rule, if the change of use occurred more than 4 years ago, the development is immune from enforcement action.  A four-year limit also applies to building operations carried out without permission. For example, if you build a garage and run a business from it, it will take four years for the garage and the use to become legal. 

However, the enforcement immunity may not apply if you have deliberately concealed the development from the local enforcement authority. This issue is complex and expert advice is required. 

Change of use 10 year rule.

The change of use 10 year rule applies to changes of use to any use other than a single-dwelling house. 

Under the change of use 10 year rule, once the building has been used for the same purpose for 10 years, the change of use automatically becomes legal.

For example, if you run a business from your garage (which has planning permission for domestic use only), it will take 10 years for the change of use to become lawful.

As with the four year rule above, the immunity may not apply if you have deliberately concealed the change of use in question. Expert advice is recommended. 

Change of Use from Commercial to Residential

If you would like to change the use of your property or land from commercial to residential, you may need to submit an application.

Advice for change of use office to residential 

It is best to confirm whether you are obliged to make such an application before work commences, as this will ensure you do not waste time and money. If you have already started on the development and you later discover a change of use application is required, you can still obtain planning permission, although there is the danger it will be refused.

En-Plan Consultants look forward to answering any questions you may have as part of a free no obligation consultation to begin the planning and development process.

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