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Office to residential conversion

Some offices can be converted to houses or flats under 'permitted development' rights, without the need to apply for planning permission.

Merton has an 'article 4 direction' so this does not apply to Wimbledon town centre or Merton's industrial estates, listed below.

Changing an office to residential use is subject to a 'prior approval' process which looks at:

  • the impact of development on transport and highways
  • contamination risks on the site
  • flooding risks on the site

Procedure

The developer must notify us and provide:

  • a written description of the proposed development
  • a plan indicating the site and showing the proposed development (this should comprise an O.S. site plan identifying the site in relation to its neighbours as well as a plan showing the floorspace and any curtilage land involved)
  • the developer's contact address and an email address if the developer is happy to receive correspondence by email. A contact phone number is also desirable

If you don't supply all the information we need with your application within the required timeframe it may be rejected.

We strongly suggest that you submit all the relevant information at the time of application including:

  • the impact of development on transport and highways
  • contamination risks on the site
  • flooding risks on the site including the flood zone 1, 2 or 3

Neighbour consultation

The Council will display a site notice for at least 21 days on or near the land where the development will take place showing the address and description of the development and the date when any representations should be received.

Decision

The change of use cannot take place until one of the following happens:

  • we provide written notice that prior approval is not required
  • we provide written notice that prior approval is given
  • if after 56 days from when we received the application we have not been in touch with you.

How to apply

You can apply online at the Planning Portal. They will provide guidance on application type and also take the necessary fee on our behalf.

Article 4 direction

The permitted development rights do not apply to:

  • Wimbledon town centre
  • Willow Lane industrial estate, Mitcham
  • Garth Road industrial estate, Lower Morden
  • South Wimbledon [Morden Road] Business Area
  • Durnsford Road industrial estate, Wimbledon Park
  • Dundonald Road industrial estate, Wimbledon
  • Plough Lane industrial estate, Wimbledon Park
  • Prince George's Road industrial estate, Colliers Wood