These days, it’s not uncommon for a person to want to change their home into a bed and breakfast. Opening a bed and breakfast in your home can be a great investment. It can also provide a much-needed service to people. You would think the process to change your home into a hotel or bed and breakfast would not be too difficult. However, the process is often more tedious than one would expect. In the following, we’ll discuss some of the complexities that accompany planning permission for change of use to a C1 Hotel.
In the UK, properties are defined by a legal framework known as the Use Class Order. These planning use classes determine what a particular property may be used for by its lawful occupants. For instance, class C1 includes any property used as a hotel, including boarding and guest houses.
When a property is designated under a certain use class, there are limits as to what the use class can be changed to. As a result, when you want to change the use class of your property, you will need to obtain planning permission. To do that, you must go through the Local Planning Authority (LPA) for approval.
Under permitted development, you are not required to obtain planning permission for your project. There are permitted development rights for certain use classes – for example, if you want to change your property from office buildings (Use Class B1) to a dwellinghouse (Use Class C3). However, unfortunately, there is no permitted development for conversion of a dwellinghouse to a C1 Use Class. And permitted development rights regarding C1 Use Classes are rather limited.
According to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 (GDPO), a property designated as C1 Use Class can be converted into a state-funded school or registered nursery under Class T Permitted Development Rights and can be returned to the previous lawful use as a C1 Use Class under Class U Permitted Development Rights. (Class T and Class U refer to particular sections within the GDPO. They contain all the details pertaining to permitted development rights.)
Additionally, under Class R of the Permitted Development Rights, an agricultural building can be changed to a flexible use which includes Use Class C1; however, this change of use requires prior approval and is subject to certain limitations, e.g. the cumulative floor space of the proposed change of use does not exceed 500m² and the property is not designated as a listed building or monument.
Unless you own an agricultural building you are trying to change into a hotel, the odds are you do not qualify for permitted development rights. Therefore, you will most likely need to obtain planning permission for change of use to a C1 Hotel. This process would involve the submission of a full planning consent application to the Local Planning Authority where your property is located, which includes a fee of £462.
While this may seem simple enough, it is not a simple matter of submitting a form. You will also have to submit additional information with the application form and fee. These additional requirements may vary from council to council but often include:
When it’s all said and done, the process for changing your property to a C1 Use Class may be more complex than you initially thought.
The internet has changed our society, and as a result, the UK planning system has had to keep up with it! With the rise of AirBnB, it’s no surprise that planning policy has been forced to change.
Because so many people have begun letting out their dwellinghouse or flat on a regular basis, London councils have now reclassified these residential premises as temporary sleeping accommodation, which is a material change of use and requires planning permission. This is determined by whether a ‘material’ change of use has taken place. For example, if you let out your room a few times a year, it is not substantial enough to require a planning application for a change of use. (Though material change of use has no statutory definition, it generally refers to significant changes that impact the use of the land and buildings.)
The Deregulation Act 2015 amended the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1973 so that the letting of short term sleeping accommodation does not constitute a material change of use provided the total annual number of nights does not exceed 90. Following the change in law, AirBnB have now begun restricting hosts in London from renting out their homes for more than 90 days unless they can provide evidence that they have permission from the Local Council.
If you’re interested in learning more about obtaining planning permission for Airbnb, read our blog post on Airbnb conversions.
Ignoring planning regulations and changing your property to a C1 Use Class without obtaining planning permission for change of use to a C1 Hotel is never recommended, and can result in fines of up to £20,000. Local councils have investigation teams to track down landlords or property owners abusing the system. Councils even encourage members of the public to report others they believe have not complied with UK planning law.
Changing your dwellinghouse or property into a hotel or guesthouse can provide a great financial opportunity, but it is important to obtain planning permission to do so. The process can be more complicated than many expect and many local councils have strict regulations when it comes to changing the use of your property. Therefore, to make the process smoother, you may want to seek professional advice beforehand. A professional firm will guide you through the use class system and help you determine which use classes apply to your project.
Ultimately, a skilled architecture firm with experience in planning permission can increase your chances of successfully obtaining planning permission for change of use to a C1 Hotel. Our multidisciplinary team is more than equipped to help you achieve your development goals. Call Urbanist Architecture today to set up a free telephone consultation.