Class PA – premises in light industrial use to residential

light industrialClass PA is, at the time of writing, the newest change of use within the GPDO. It was introduced in September 2017. It is aimed at light industrial units within residential areas of up to 500 square metres. This is the maximum floor space of the building. It might be possible to reduce the floor space before applying. Like many other changes of use Class PA is date stamped, but this is date stamped twice. Firstly it must have been a light industrial unit on or before 19th March 2014 and secondly you must get approval to convert by 30th September 2020. This means that applications must be validated by 5th August 2020, although I would not be tempted to leave it that late. We will update the article if this gets extended in the 2020 update.

Where can you and where can’t you? 

As with many use classes there are a few restrictions as to location. Apart from not being in an industrial zone, you need to avoid a site of special scientific interest (SSSI), safety hazard zone, military explosion storage area, scheduled monument or a listed building.  You are fine in other areas for example conservation areas.

The prior approval will take 56 days to be processed by the local authority and they will asses it against highways, contamination and flood risk.

As with other permitted development changes there is no requirement to follow national space standards, unless you plan to convert later to an HMO, which has minimum room sizes. You can also divide it into more than one dwelling, but bear in mind that the minimum accepted size for mortgage purposes is generally 30 square metres, although one or two are known to go lower.

You will need to submit a second application should you need to make any exterior changes to the building.


Check out other permitted development options on our changes of use page.


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