Change of use

Exempt Development 

Many Empty Space initiatives may focus on the 'design arts' such as pop-up boutique retail stores, galleries and artist studios, as well as other creative businesses. It is anticipated, therefore, that the majority of proposals are likely to fall into the exempt development category. 

With respect to the examples given in Table 1 (and their equivalent categorisation), a change of use is permissible as exempt development for the following:

Business premises to another type of business premises
Example: accountant office to an artist studio with teaching facilities

Business premises to office premises
Example: real estate office to web design office

Office premises to another type of office premises
Example: accountant's office to art photography studio

Office premises to business premises
Example: IT company to artist studio with teaching facilities

One type of retail premises to another type of retail premises
Example: shoe shop to art gallery with sales

Light industry to another light industry
Example: furniture manufacture to craft, pottery and sculpture centre


Complying Development  

Some proposals may require a change of use to be assessed as complying development, such as a change from a boutique fashion store to a web development business, if it relates to a change in the class of building as determined under the Building Code of Australia (BCA)2. 

For example an office premises is defined as a class 5 building and retail premises as class 6.

This requires the submission of a CDC application to a certifying authority (council officer or a private certifier) which must be determined within 10 days.  A change of use is permissible as complying development for the following:

Retail premises to business premises
Example: clothing shop to artist studio providing art lessons

Retail premises to office premises
Example: furniture shop to web design office

Business premises to retail premises 
Example: real estate office to art gallery with sales

Office premises to retail premises
Example: call centre offices to art gallery with sales

Light industry to office premises
Example: clothing manufacture to web design office

Light industry to another light industry
Example: furniture manufacture to pottery and sculpture centre.

For more information on the BCA refer to the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) website.