Converting Commercial Office Space to Residential Accommodation

With the market for commercial office space depressed for a while now, developers are increasingly looking for opportunities to convert offices into apartments. A relaxation in planning rules in 2016 has made obtaining planning permission for change-of-use projects much more accessible, especially from commercial to residential.

Buying commercial property for residential use

Buying commercial property for residential use can be a great investment opportunity, especially in the UK where the demand for housing is high. However, before making a purchase, it’s essential to understand the legal and regulatory requirements involved in converting commercial property to residential use.

Firstly, it’s important to note that living in a commercial property is not always permitted. While it’s possible to convert some commercial properties to residential use, specific regulations must be adhered to. For example, planning permission may be required, and the property must meet specific size, access, and amenity standards. In addition, it’s crucial to ensure that the property is structurally suitable for residential use and that any necessary building and safety regulations are met.

When considering purchasing a commercial property for residential use, it’s essential to consult with a professional to ensure that all legal and regulatory requirements are met. A solicitor or property specialist can provide guidance on the specific steps required for converting a commercial property to residential use, as well as the costs and time frames involved.

There are several factors to consider when assessing the potential of commercial property for residential use. Location is vital, as properties in desirable areas will likely be more attractive to potential tenants or buyers. The property’s condition is also essential, as renovation costs can quickly add up. It’s worth considering the likely return on investment and any potential rental income or resale value when evaluating the financial viability of a commercial property for residential use.

In summary, while buying commercial property for residential use can be a wise investment, it’s important to approach such purchases carefully and seek professional advice to ensure all legal and regulatory requirements are met. Converting commercial property to residential use can be a complex process. Still, with careful planning and due diligence, it can be a profitable investment opportunity in the UK’s competitive housing market.


Permitted development of commercial to residential property

Permitted Development (PD) is a set of rules that allow certain types of development to be carried out without the need for a full planning application. One of the most popular types of PD is the change of use from commercial to residential property. In recent years, the UK government has made it easier to convert commercial buildings to residential use through PD, intending to increase the housing supply.

One of the key aspects of PD is the change of use from office to residential property. This is a popular option for property developers looking to convert underutilized or vacant office buildings into residential units. Under the current rules, office-to-residential conversions can be carried out without planning permission as long as certain conditions are met. For example, the building must have been in use as an office for at least two years before the conversion, and the conversion must comply with certain standards in terms of size, access, and amenity.

Permitted development from commercial to residential is another option for property developers looking to convert commercial buildings to residential use. This type of PD allows for a broader range of commercial properties to be converted to residential use, including shops, warehouses, and light industrial buildings. Again, certain conditions must be met, such as compliance with minimum space standards and the provision of adequate natural light.

The process of converting a commercial building to residential use under PD is relatively straightforward, but there are still important factors to consider. For example, it’s essential to ensure that the building is structurally suitable for residential use and that the necessary planning and building regulations are followed. It’s also important to consider the impact of the conversion on the surrounding area, such as access to amenities and transport links.

Overall, permitted development office to residential and permitted development commercial to residential provide a fantastic opportunity for property developers to convert underutilized or vacant commercial buildings into much-needed residential units. However, it’s important to approach such conversions carefully and seek professional advice to meet the necessary standards and regulations.

Converted office space to residential

Grants for converting commercial property to residential

In addition to permitted development, there are also grants available to support the conversion of commercial property to residential use. These grants are designed to help property developers cover some of the costs associated with the conversion process, such as renovation and refurbishment expenses. Local authorities and government agencies may offer these grants, and eligibility criteria can vary depending on the specific program. 

It’s worth researching available grants and consulting with a professional to determine whether they may be applicable to your commercial-to-residential conversion project. At Greenway Associates we would love to shoe you the options you have available for your project. 

Change of use from B&B to residential

In the United Kingdom, changing the use of a property from a Bed and Breakfast (B&B) to a residential property typically involves obtaining planning permission from the local council. 

  1. Check the property’s existing use class: The first step is to check the existing use class of the property. B&Bs are classified as “C1” under the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987, while residential properties are classified as “C3”. If you want to change the use of your property, you will need to apply for planning permission.
  2. Submit a planning application: You must submit a planning application to your local council outlining the proposed changes to the property. This may include changes to the building’s layout, structural alterations, and removing any B&B facilities.
  3. Consultation period: Once the application is received, the council will undertake a consultation period, during which they will notify any affected parties, such as neighbours or local businesses.
  4. Consideration of application: After the consultation period has ended, the council will consider the application and determine whether or not to grant planning permission. They will consider a range of factors, including the impact of the proposed changes on the local community, the need for B&B accommodation in the area, and any potential changes to the character of the building.
  5. Decision: If the planning application is approved, you will receive a decision notice outlining any conditions that need to be met before the change of use can take place. If the application is refused, you may appeal the decision to the Planning Inspectorate.
  6. Change of use: Once planning permission has been granted and conditions have been met, you can proceed with the change of use from B&B to residential. You may need to obtain building regulations approval if any structural alterations are required.

It is worth noting that changing the use of a property from b2b to residential can be complex and time-consuming, and it is always best to seek professional advice before starting the process. At Greenway Associates, we are competent and confident in assisting with this process. 

Calling commercial property owners

Projects like this, converting commercial properties into more lucrative residential accommodation, are helping to address the housing shortage and creating good business for commercial property owners in the process. If you own an office space that is not paying its way, come and see us to discuss ways in which to transform your asset into something more attractive, both aesthetically and financially.

Got an asset that’s not paying its way? Talk to Greenway Associates on 01737 652737

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At Greenway Associates, we have completed over 2,000 architectural design projects