Changing the use of a property from Commerical to Residential can be an appealing prospect for buyers. While vacant plots of land in London are expensive and hard to come by, creating a dream home from an existing commercial building could offer a more cost-effective and architecturally interesting route to explore.
Change of use projects often provide a fantastic opportunity to create a characterful and unique home. One example of this that springs to mind from our own project portfolio is our Balmuir Gardens project. A former's doctors surgery that we helped transform into a welcoming modern, family home.
When it comes to creating your dream home, starting with a clean slate and building something that's made completely to your specification might be a big priority for your project. If that's the case, don't rule out the demolition of an existing building if it means you can create the home you want. Try searching for commercial properties which have been neglected or are a little worse for wear as these plots will usually cost less than residential ones in the same area.
Before you get too carried away, there are, of course, restrictions on converting a site from a commercial property to a residential one. In most cases, you'll need to apply for planning permission for the change from one use class to another. There are some exceptions, but even if you don't need to apply for this planning permission in all likelihood you'll need to apply for permission for the actual development of the property, particularly if the plot is located within a conservation area or if you're changing the external appearance of the building.
Before proceeding with your purchase of a non-residential property, it's a really good idea to talk to an architect about the project. They will be able to advise you on what permissions will be required to change the use to residential through a Feasibility Study. This study will provide information about the history of the site, its potential and opportunities available to the developer - as well as restraints and restrictions.
If you're looking into converting a commercial property into a home and would like to speak to an architect about this in greater detail, please get in touch here.