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Changes to the Use of Land

What Is A Change In Use?

A change in use relates to any change made to the use of land and buildings (eg. shop to office) and can include activities of a retailing, commercial or industrial nature.  This may affect you if you are establishing a new business, moving from one premise to another or if a particular use of land has been discontinued for a period of two years or more.  

Why Is An Application Required?

It is important that you consult with Council before establishing any use on a site in order to determine whether your proposal is appropriate within the zone covering the intended site.  If a site has previously been used for a different purpose, it may be necessary to lodge a Development Application for a ‘change in use’.  Building Rules Consent may also be required as a change in use may constitute a change in building classification ie. requiring various internal modifications or considerations (eg. fire extinguishers).  Examples are as follows:


  • If the premises has been previously been approved for a business which is different to the existing use (eg. an office which you wish to use as a shop or a warehouse to be used as a crash repair operation)
  • If you have different staff and customer parking requirements to the previous business
  • If you wish to increase the size of the building, or if you wish to alter the number, size or location of signs which have bene previously approved by Council.

It is important that you check with Council prior to lodging an application to ensure that the proposed use is consistent with the zone provisions.

What Information Is Required?

  • Development Application Form and relevant fees
  • In the form of a covering letter a description of the business, operation, internal processes and activities, number of staff to be employed and days and hours of operation
  • Plans drawn to scale, preferably 1:100 or 1:200 including:


  • Existing building and property boundaries
  • Points of access and egress, driveways, car parking provision (please note that change in use may require additional car parking facilities)
  • Location of existing and proposed landscaping (including details of species to be planted and in what locations)
  • The size and number of any proposed advertising signage
  • Details of internal floor plans, both existing and proposed (ie. creation of kitchen areas, toilets etc)
  • Proposed construction of internal walls, or intended removal of walls
  • Method of waste and refuse storage and disposal

    Processing Time Required

    Council will endeavour to deal with your applications as quickly as possible, however at least four weeks should be set aside for Council approval.  Please note that this period will be extended if additional information or public notification is required.

    Will Building Consent Be Required?

    If the proposal requires any internal alterations or additions to the building or results in the change to the building’s classification then Building Consent will be required.

    Further Information

    Please note that the information above is intended as a guide only. 

    Further clarification of these matters can be obtained from the Development Services Department on phone: 08 8406 8229 or email

    Lodge Development Application

    If you wish to proceed with lodging a development application the forms are downloaded by clicking on the links below:

    Development Application and Fee Form

    Declaration of Applicant Form (Not required for applications for demolition, removal of a significant tree, land division (not including building work), or fences less than 2.1m high)