Do I Need to Involve the Council When Entering A Building?

Most of the time, no. If you’re entering a building with a Certificate of Use/Existing Use, and you’re using it for that Use, then you’re all good to go. So if you’re entering a space which has an Existing Use for Retail and you’re using it as a retail space, that’s totally fine. Even if it was previously used as a clothes shop, and you’re now using it to sell bikes.

The property owner should be able to tell you if the space has an Existing Use or needs council compliance.

Getting your local council involved will make life harder, will consume time and usually will consume cash. Unfortunately, it’s often necessary. You might need to do so if the building has been empty for a long period of time, and you’ll almost certainly need to do so if you’re changing the Use category of the building (ie from an office space to an arts venue).

Remember that Renew projects rely on finding the easiest, lowest cost ways of doing things. You should, whenever possible, try to find projects suitable to the building’s existing legal Use and planning regulations. This will save you potentially thousands of dollars and countless hours of paperwork.