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jitsy

Commercial to residential conversions

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Hi there,

I'm looking to purchase a commercial property, with a view to convert part of the property for residential use under permitted development and then rent it out.

Any one on here got experience of this? Any pitfalls to be aware of?

I'm struggling with finding the right property in and around the London area - any commercial property sourcers on here?

Thanks :-)

 

 

 

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Hi,

From a planning side - it is important that you make sure the commercial property is not within an area that has an Article 4 Direction which removes these permitted development rights, otherwise you will not be able to do the conversion. 

Secondly, you will still have to apply to the Local Authority for "Prior Approval" for the conversion. They can take into account a variety of matters including transport impacts, quality of the accommodation (in particular daylight/sunlight), flood risk, land contamination and noise, so it is worth making sure that your proposal wouldn't have any issues on those fronts as well. 

Thirdly, the prior approval does not allow for any external changes to be made to the building, so if you are planning on doing those you will need a separate planning permission.

Hope this helps

Tom

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Thanks Tom - useful points.

On the 3rd point, does this also apply to the rear of the property i.e. if you wanted to put in some windows on the walls or add a skylight? (For example, if you wanted to convert the rear of the property to resi use and keep a small shop at the front? The property has access at the back via a rear service road).

What I'm struggling with is that there is this permitted dev right for commercial to resi conversions, but most of the properties I've seen have little or zero natural light at the rear of the property.

 

 

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Hi,

It really depends on which form of permitted development you are using - there are different requirements for office to residential compared to retail to residential for example. Some external changes are permitted in retail - residential, but office to residential usually only allows internal changes. Essentially what you need to avoid is providing windowless rooms within the residential units - something that was overlooked when the PD rights were brought in!

The best place to look is the relevant part of the General Permitted Development Order, which sets out the restrictions on each type of permitted development. The Planning Portal also has a useful guide for what can be done without planning permission etc:

https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200130/common_projects/9/change_of_use/2

Hope this helps

Tom

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This area is a bit of a minefield and also needs a building regs perspective before committing to a deal - my advise is to engage a local planner as i have found having an 'expert' involved early will be a big benefit as they have experience of many projects so are well placed to know what your ability will be t have a succeful conversion..

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Hi,

I agree, although admit being slightly biased as I am a planning consultant! There are a lot of considerations when undertaking works under permitted development - often it can be just as complicated as full planning.

I cover London and the South East, so more than happy to help out if needed - just drop me an email on tom.bradfield@berrys.uk.com

Tom

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