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Flexible use of non-residential buildings

A temporary change of use is permitted for up to two years for buildings designated as:

  • shops
  • professional services such as accountants
  • restaurants, cafes and pubs
  • offices and buildings such as libraries, clinics and church halls
  • cinemas and ice rinks to be used as retail
  • restaurant/cafe or office space.

The flexible arrangements are conditional on the developer notifying us through a formal process.

Procedure to be followed for Class D, Part 4, Schedule 2

A developer wishing to benefit from the permitted development rights for temporary uses must meet the following conditions:

  • tell us the start date for flexible use and what that use will be before the use begins
  • tell us if any building that has flexible use changes its classification during the two year period
  • the site reverts to its previous lawful use at the end of the period of flexible use.

There is no fee in connection with this process.

Merton Council requires the developer to provide:

  • notification in the form of a letter of the proposed use and separate notification in the event of any subsequent use comprising the flexible use
  • a contact address for the developer and an email address.
  • a plan of the site identifying the building and any land within its curtilage which the developer wishes to benefit from the new permitted development rights.

Merton Council will provide the developer, within 28 days from receipt of a valid notification:

  • a letter confirming receipt of notification.
  • the criteria which the developer must fulfil in order to benefit from the new permitted development arrangements.