Flexible change of use

What is a flexible use?

Some changes of use can be 'flexible' and run for two years.

Under Part 4 Class D of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 (as amended), premises where the use currently falls within class A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, B1, D1 and D2 uses will be allowed to change use for a single period of up two years to A1, A2, A3 and B1 uses.

How do you notify us of a change of use?

You can apply for a temporary change of use.

There are certain conditions that you will need to satisfy before you can start.

  1. The developer has to tell us the date the site will begin being used for one of the flexible uses, and what use that will be, before the use begins. (You cannot request a flexible use allowance where the use has already started)
  2. At any given time during the two year flexible period the use can change to another use within the flexible categories by submitting a further notification, but can only have one flexible use at any time.
  3. The site will retain its original use for the purposes of the Use Class Order and will revert to the previous lawful use at the end of the 2 year period.
  4. The area that can be changed under this temporary change of use must be less than 150m2
  5. Following the period of two years no further flexible uses can be applied for.
  6. Please complete the temporary flexible use request form and return to planning this will help you give us all the information we need to register your flexible use. 

What happens when the temporary period ends?

Once the temporary period ends (two years from the date you notify us) you must either apply for planning permission to permanently change the use of the premises or return to the last lawful use. You can only use the flexible use once on a premises.

Can I make other changes to the property?

Any alterations to the property (for example new shop fronts, advertisements etc.) may need planning permission/advert consent and you should get advice before taking any action.


Address: PO Box 15
Council House
Earl Street