Change of use

Changing the use of a building may not need planning permission if the proposed change meets the requirements set out in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (the State Policy). This is known as exempt development.

No planning or building approval is required if the proposal is changing from an existing use specified to a new use, as laid out in the table below.

Existing versus new use

Existing use

New use

Category One

business premises

business premises

office premises

office premises

Shop

shop

 

kiosk

Category Two

landscaping material supplies

landscaping material supplies

hardware and building supplies

hardware and building supplies

garden centre

garden centre

plant nursery

plant nursery

rural supplies

rural supplies

timber yard

timber yard

vehicle sales or hire premises

 

Category Three

general industry

light industry

light industry

packaging industry

packaging industry

warehouse or distribution centre

warehouse or distribution centre

wholesale supplies

wholesale supplies

self-storage premises

 

Please refer to these provisions of the State Policy for a full list of development standards under exempt development relating to changing the use of a premises.

Other considerations

  • A change from one type of retail shop to another type of retail shop is not a change of use ­- it is considered a change of tenant.
  • Minor building work can be undertaken in conjunction with the change of use, if the work is considered exempt development. For example, if a shop were changing to an office, minor internal work that may not require approval includes the installation of work stations, recarpeting the floor, repainting the premises, changing light fittings and upgrading existing sanitary fittings.
  • Any structures that would be located on public land, or on or over a public road (including temporary structures), must have separate approval from the relevant council, or Roads and Maritime Services under the Roads Act 1993 and the Local Government Act 1993.
  • Generally, exempt development cannot be carried out on: