Converting a commercial property to residential can be a fantastic way to create a living space with a difference. This used to be quite a complex procedure, with a lot of restrictions on commercial to residential conversion that made it impracticable. However, since 2015, the government has been softening rules on commercial to residential conversion to make it easier. This means your commercial space may well be suitable for residential conversion!

At Fallon & Co, we work closely with planning experts and local authorities on all of our projects. We’ll be able to advise you on whether your proposed commercial to residential conversion fits in with current guidelines, and how to go about it safely to ensure you comply with all relevant legislation.

We enjoy working with our clients to realise their vision – so even if your commercial to residential conversion proposal is unusual, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help you make it work.

Commercial to residential conversions – do I need planning permission?

As your commercial to residential conversion will involve changing a building from one Use Class to another, it may require planning permission. However, in 2021, the government introduced Class MA, effectively an exemption category to make it easier to convert certain types of commercial buildings for residential use.

There’s more to it – and feel free to get in touch if you’d like to discuss it in more detail – but in brief, here are some of the criteria for Class MA buildings.

  • Class MA covers any building that was already in Use Class E – this includes shops, restaurants, financial service buildings (i.e. banks), general professional service buildings (i.e. estate agents), indoor sports buildings, nurseries and more.

  • Class MA buildings have to have been vacant for a period of at least 3 months.

  • Class MA buildings must occupy less than 1,500 square metres.

Of course, if your commercial space doesn’t fit these requirements, you may still be able to achieve your residential conversion – you’ll just need planning permission (which you’ll need anyway if you’re planning big cosmetic changes to the building’s exterior like adding extra windows).

In either case, the team at Fallon & Co can guide you through the process.

Commercial to residential conversions – what next?

If you’re making plans to convert a commercial space to a residential one, the team at Fallon & Co will be the perfect guides throughout. We’ll liaise with all relevant authorities and contractors to ensure the job proceeds smoothly and with all legalities ironed out.

Making a commercial space fit for habitation is a big job – one best left to the professionals. Give us a call or get in touch using the details below and we’ll handle your commercial to residential conversion.


Have a project in mind? Get a quote or more information from one of our team.