Planning success for a new children’s day nursery in Milton Keynes

Local Authority



Certificates of Lawfulness
  • Education and Community
Decoration Decoration

We are pleased to share that we have recently obtained a Lawful Development Certificate from Milton Keynes Council for the change of use of offices to a new children's day nursery.

Author Andy Boothby

Project Overview

This is an excellent result, as children’s day nurseries can often generate concerns about traffic, parking, noise and disturbance. By using the property’s permitted development rights to change the use without needing planning permission, we have avoided these potential issues.



Both offices and day nurseries fall within Class E of the Use Classes Order, which covers commercial, business and service uses. As changes within the same use class are not considered development and do not require planning permission, we were able to demonstrate that the change of use here was lawful.

We also successfully argued that using the separate office units as a single nursery did not constitute development either, as no physical changes were needed to the building itself.

The introduction of Class E in 2020 has increased flexibility significantly. Previously, this change of use would have needed full planning permission, requiring assessments of traffic, parking and potential disturbance – often challenging for nurseries.

By using the Class E permitted development rights, we have secured a great outcome for our client. The new nursery will provide an important facility for families in Milton Keynes, without facing the usual planning hurdles.

This case shows how an understanding of planning legislation can be used creatively to secure positive outcomes, like delivering valuable new community services.

Bell Cornwell can assist you through the Planning process, contact us to discuss your project.




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