DIFFERENT CLASSES FOR USE OF SHOPHOUSE

Shophouse

Use Clasess

A Use Class is a broad group of shophouse building uses with similar mode of operations or impact to the surrounding. There are 17 shophouse Use Classes:

Class I – Shop
Class II – Office or Commercial School
Class III – Restaurant
Class IV- Health Centre or Amusement Centre
Class V – Motor Vehicle Showroom
Class VI – Theatre
Class VII – Light Industrial Building
Class VIII – General Industrial Building
Class IX – Special Industrial Building
Class X – Warehouse
Class XI – Convalescent Home
Class XII – Child Care Centre
Class XIII – Community Building
Class XIV – Sports and Recreation Building
Class XV – Nightclub
Class XVI – Pet Shop
Class XVII – Community Sports and Fitness Building

ClassUsage
Class I Shop
DefinitionPremises used for the carrying on of any trade or business where its primary purpose is the sale of goods or foodstuff by retail or provision of services.
IncludesFurniture shop, department store, pawnshop
Beauty salon, ticket agency, travel agency
Confectionery or take-away food shop that retails food or drinks for consumption away from the premises only and without any provision for consumption of food or drinks within the premises, and may include ancillary food preparation area.
See more examples of retail shops, services and take-away foodshops below.
Examples:

Retail Shops

Departmental store, supermarket, provision shop, minimart, pawnshop
Fashion boutique, florist, gift shop, stationery shop.
Furniture shop, home furnishings and textile shop.
Electrical appliances/equipment, computers and accessories.
Dispensary, Chinese medical hall.
Aquarium.
Other shops selling takeaway food and beverages without consumption on the premises.
Services

Barber shop, beauty salon, hairdressing salon.
Photo studio, tailor shop
Foot reflexology, Chinese physician/acupuncturist.
Receiving agency, money changer, travel/ticket agency.
Launderette (collection of goods to be cleaned elsewhere).
Takeaway Foodshops

Shops selling curry puffs, rice dumplings, pastries, buns, bubble tea, ice-cream, barbeque meat, etc. purely for takeaway and without tables and chairs for dining at the premises.
Light and simple food preparation (e.g. baking, microwaving and steaming) may be allowed. You will need to comply with licensing conditions from the National Environment Agency and ensure that activities do not cause fumes, odour or other nuisances.
Does not includePreparation of food for sale by distribution or catering and the food is for consumption away from the premises.
Storage or wholesale of goods or foodstuff.
Sale of coffins or motor vehicle parts and accessories.
Repair and servicing of motor vehicles.
Laundry shop, dry cleaner’s shop, pet shop, petrol station.
Market, fun fair, amusement centre, health centre, nightclub, bar.
Sex shop i.e. a building used for the carrying on of any trade or business where the primary purpose is the sale of products (including toys, magazines, clothing or equipment) connected with sexual activity.
Showroom, motor vehicle showroom, betting outlet, office.
Any part of an industrial retail building or warehouse retail building used for business zone retail.
Medical clinic which has the same meaning as in the Private Hospitals and Medical Clinics Act (CAP. 248)
Note:

Supermarkets located in shophouses may be subject to LTA’s carparking requirements and may not be appropriate in locations where there are existing traffic and parking problems. Operators are advised to seek prior clearance from URA and LTA for their proposal before committing on the lease or purchase of the shop premises.
Class II Office or Commercial School
DefinitionOffice:
Premises used as a place of business and for conducting administrative work.
IncludesBank
See more examples of offices below
Finance office, insurance company, stock exchange.
Real estate housing agency.
Contractors, transport office.
Professional, consultant, architect, engineer, lawyer, accountant, advertising agency, research and marketing office.
Employment agency, secretarial services.
Astrologers/palmists.
Security office.
Political party office.
Does not includeShops
DefinitionCommercial School:
Premises used for the purpose of teaching, training or imparting of knowledge or skill.
IncludesTuition centre.
Language school.
Computer school.
Dress-making school.
Baking and cooking school.
Music school.
Dance school.
Acting school.
Speech and drama school.
Child development centre, or play school.
Art school.
Does not includePrimary school.
Secondary school.
Junior college.
Vocational and technical institution.
Polytechnic and university.
Note: For developments that are subject to special planning condition on minimum quantum for office use, the change of use from office to commercial school may not be allowed. You are advised to obtain a copy of the Written Permission for the development from the developer/building management or download a copy of the decision from our e-development register.
Class IIIRestaurant
DefinitionA building used for the carrying on of any trade or business where the primary purpose is the sale of food for consumption on the premises without performance of live music or live entertainment, and where the sale of liquor and alcoholic drinks, if any, is for consumption on the premises and incidental to the consumption of food.
IncludesCoffee shop
Eating house
Snack bar
Cafeteria
Foodcourt
Fast-food restaurant
Tea house
Does not includeCanteen
Bar
Pub
Class IV Health Centre or Amusement Centre
DefinitionHealth Centre:
Premises used for physical exercise and fitness activities.Amusement Centre:
Premises where jackpot machines, pin-ball machines, video-game machines and other similar machines are provided for entertainment.
IncludesHealth Centre:

Massage establishment
Spa
Fitness centre and gymnasium run as independent businesses in commercial premises
Amusement Centre:

Video games arcade
Computer gaming centre
Billiard saloon
Bowling alley
Class VMotor Vehicle Showroom
IncludesCar-mart
car-trading office
motor vehicle rental office
Motor vehicle trading office
Class VITheatre
DefinitionPremises where live theatrical performances, including plays, operas and music performances, are performed
IncludesNightclub
Cinema
Class VIILight Industrial Building
DefinitionPremises where the processes carried out or the machinery installed can be done so in any residential area without polluting the area with noise, vibration, odour, fumes, smoke, soot, ash, dust or grit.
IncludesPremises classified as “light industry” by the Director of Environmental Pollution Control.

See examples of light industrial buildings below

Manufacture of made-up textile goods (excludes wearing apparel) without dyeing, bleaching and/or other finishing operations.
Servicing and refilling of fire extinguishers.
Packing and bottling of medicinal herbs and medicated oil.
Manufacture of aluminium window frames and grilles from aluminium extrusions without spray-painting operations.
Packing of dried foodstuff.
Manufacture of containers and boxes of paperboard.
Printing, publishing and allied industries.
Class VIIIGeneral Industrial Building
DefinitionPremises that are industrial buildings but not light industrial or special industrial buildings.
IncludesPremises classified as “general industry” by the Director of Environmental Pollution Control.

See examples of general industrial buildings below

Vehicle / motorcycles repair and servicing.
Installation of tyres & batteries.
Installation of car accessories.
Food manufacturing, food catering.
Manufacture of furniture & fixtures.
Manufacture of musical instruments.
Manufacture of wooden & cane containers & small cane wares.
Manufacture of emergency lighting and power supply systems.
Repair and maintenance of engines, motor and mechanical pumps.
Industrial laundry services without scheduled boilers.
Manufacture of sporting and athletic goods
Blending of detergents and cleaning preparations, perfumes, hair-care products, cosmetics and other toilet preparations.
Note: Code of Practice on Pollution Control (PDF) on the National Environment Agency’s
Class IXSpecial Industrial Building
DefinitionPremises that are industrial buildings where dangerous or offensive processes are carried out
IncludesPremises classified as “special industry” by the Director of Environmental Pollution Control.
Class XWarehouse
DefinitionA building (excluding any land occupied therewith) where storage is the principal use and where no business is transacted other than incidentally to such storage.
Does not includea warehouse retail building
Class XIConvalescent Home
DefinitionPremises used or intended to be used to receive, accommodate and nurse persons suffering or convalescing from any sickness, injury or infirmity.
Does not includeHospitals
Premises used solely to receive, accommodate and care for dying or terminally ill persons.
Class XIIChild Care Centre
DefinitionPremises that are:

licensed as a child care centre under Section 4 of the Child Care Centres Act (Chapter 37A).
used as a centre where 5 or more school-going children between the ages of 7 and 14 years are cared for/supervised before or after school hours.
registered as a kindergarten under Section 23 of the Education Act (Chapter 87).
Class XIIICommunity Building
DefinitionPremises used for community-based activities.
IncludesAn office of an association or a society
Community centre
Community club
Family service centre
Residents’ committee centre
Does not includeFuneral parlour
Welfare home
Child care centre
Home for the aged
Home for the disabled
Class XIVSports and Recreation Building
DefinitionPremises used for sports and recreation activities.
IncludesSports club
Sports complex
Recreation club
Clubhouse
Fitness centre
Gymnasium within the sports and recreation building
Does not includea community sports and fitness building
Class XVNightclub
DefinitionPremises used for any trade or business where its primary purpose is the sale of alcoholic drinks (with or without the sale of foodstuff) for consumption on the premises with singing, dancing or live music/entertainment performances. Includes karaoke lounge and discothque.
Class XVI Pet Shop
DefinitionPremises used for the sale of live animals or birds normally kept as domestic pets.
IncludesVeterinary clinic
Domestic pet grooming service
Does not includePremises or aquariums used for the sale of ornamental fish
Class XVIICommunity Sports and Fitness Building
DefinitionPremises used for sports and fitness activities and operated by:

the Singapore Sports Council;
any person as agent of the Singapore Sports Council; or
any person who is in a public-private partnership agreement with the Singapore Sports Council
Unclassified UsesAny uses that do not fall under these are Unclassified Uses, which requires planning permission. Common unclassified uses include:

Bar/Pub

Premises used for any trade or business where its primary purpose is the sale of alcoholic drinks for consumption on the premises without dancing, singing or performance of live music or live entertainment.
Backpackers’ Hostel/Boarding House/Hotel

Backpackers’ Hostel
Premises used as open concept dormitories with minimum 6 beds per room used for providing boarding and lodging or lodging only. The business is run for the purpose of gain or profit.
Boarding House/Hotel
Premises used for boarding and lodging only. The business is run for the purpose of gain or profit.
Showroom

Showroom refers to premises used for the display of goods with no retail sales and does not include a shop or motor vehicle showroom.
Showroom premises are used for the display of primarily 2 categories of products:
products that are not typically transacted or exchanged over the counter (e.g. cars) or
products that are predominantly delivered and installed off-site (e.g. floor tiles)”
Students’ Hostel

Students’ hostels are premises used to provide boarding and lodging for students who are studying in the local primary schools, secondary schools, junior colleges and tertiary institutions.Owners of residential premises including landed houses and apartments can rent out bedrooms to full-time students for long-term stays of at least 6 months without having to apply for Change of Use permission if:
the number of students per bedroom does not exceed 3;
the number of students per residential unit does not exceed 15; and
no internal partitions were constructed to create more bedrooms
Workers’ Dormitory

Workers’ Dormitories (WD) in industrial premises are used to house foreign workers who are engaged to perform industrial or production activities.
Ancillary WD – can only house workers employed by the owner or lessee of the factory; and workers who work on-site at the subject factory.
Secondary WD – can house workers who are not employed by the owner or lessee of the factory; as well as both on-site and off-site workers.

CHANGE OF SHOPHOUSE USAGE

Shophouse

How can I find out the approved use of the shophouse premises?

You have to submit your application electronically via “Enquiry on Approved Use of Premises”.

What is the fee involved?

The fee for a search on the approved use of the premises is $53.50 (incl GST) per enquiry and on a single unit basis.

What information do I need to submit for a search on the approved use of the premises?

You only need to provide us with the address of the subject unit.

When can I expect a decision?

If information on the approved use of the premises is available in our online database, you can expect an instantaneous reply. If not, a more detailed search has to be made through our records and the reply will be given to you in 7 working days.

Whether planning permission is required to change the approved use to another use

When is planning permission required?

Unless specifically exempted, planning permission for a change of use is required when
a. the change in the use is from one use class to another use class or
b. the change of use involves uses which do not fall into any use class

When is planning permission not required?

a) Uses are in the same class

Change of uses where the approved use and the new use fall under the same use class. For example, change of use of an approved shop to a medical clinic and change of use of an approved childcare centre to a student care centre do not require planning permission.

b) Proposed change of uses of shop

Change of the following uses in a commercial building or shophouse to shop use is authorised under the Planning (Development of Land Authorisation) Notification, provided the premises was previously approved for commercial use and computed as commercial GFA. These uses are:

Restaurant, Health Care, Amusement Centre, Nightclub, Community Building uses, Bar / Pub, Sports & recreation use, Pet Shop, Laundry / Dry Cleaning Shop, Motor Vehicle Showroom, Betting Outlet, Office / Commercial School, Child Care Centre, Showroom

The applicant is required to obtain prior clearances from other relevant licensing and approving authorities such as Fire Safety & Shelther Department and Land Transport Authority, etc. before commenciing they change of use.

c) Change of uses as shown in the following types of developments

Proposed change of uses in commercial and industrial buildings and HDB premises as shown in Table B below will be authorised without the need to submit an application. But you are required to seek prior written consent from HDB for proposed change of use within commercial premises leased or sold by HDB and comply with requirements of relevant technical agencies (e.g. NEA, FSSD, LTA) before commencing the use.

 

NoDevelopment TypeNo Planning Permission
Standalone commercial building
iCommercial podium block; & Commercial block physically separated from residential uses on sites zoned Commercial, Commercial/Residential, Hotel or White *excludes party-walled shophouses1 and shopflatChange of use between the following uses:
a) Shop
b) Restaurant
c) Showroom
iiCommercial premises sold or leased by HDBChange of use between the following uses:
a) Shop
b) Showroom
c) Motor vehicle showroom
d) Community uses (e.g. association, family service centre)
iiiFactory and warehouse buildings zoned Business 1 or Business 2Change of use from:
General industrial to Light industrial use

The authorisations apply to change of use of individual units and do not involve en-bloc conversions. The above the premises must be originally approved for commercial use and computed as commercial GFA.

I would like to convert the unit to another use. Can my change of use proposal be allowed?

To find out whether a change of use proposal can be allowed, please submit a change of use application for our evaluation.

Change of use applications are evaluated based on Master Plan 2014 zoning of the building and the prevailing guidelines.To find out the permissible change of uses within a building. The definitions and examples of the various uses are listed for reference and to guide you on the permissible change of uses under the different Master Plan (MP) zonings.

USES NOT ALLOW IN HISTORIC DISTRICT

Incompatible Uses Not Allowed in Historic District Core Areas

1. Western fast-food restaurants
2. Supermarkets
3. Building material showrooms
4. Nursing homes
5. Offices (except at the upper storeys); excludes banks which can be
considered on all storeys

Uses Not Allowed in Historic Districts
1. New bars, pubs, nightclubs and karaoke lounges are not allowed.
2. New massage establishments and spas are not allowed.
3. Amusement centres are not allowed.
4. Motor vehicle showrooms are not allowed.
5. Warehouse stores are not allowed. They may only be considered if such a use is ancillary to the main use.
6. Places of worship, unless previously authorised, are not allowed. They should be located on land zoned for places of worship.
7. Pollutive trades such as engineering, spray-painting, welding, plumbing, motor, metal and joinery workshops, tyre and battery shops, and plastic products manufacturing are not allowed.

Other Use Controls in Historic Districts
1. Eating Houses
New eating houses and expansion of existing eating houses are not allowed in areas designated as Problematic Traffic Areas (PTA), as listed in URA’s Circular to Professional Institutes dated 30 May 2016. These are Kampong Glam Conservation Area, Serangoon Road / Jalan Besar within the Little India Conservation Area and Kampong Bahru Road / Spottiswoode Park Road within the Blair Plain Conservation Area.
2. Hotels and backpacker hostels
New hotels and backpacker hostels are not allowed within Little India Conservation Area and certain areas within Chinatown Conservation Area, as listed in URA’s Circular to Professional Institutes dated 12 August 2016.
3. Shops
Shop use can generally be considered. However, planning approval is required for the following types of uses classified under shop use –
 Foot reflexology
 Beauty salon
 Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) clinic
 Take-away foodshop
New telco and mobile phone shops are not allowed within the Little India Conservation Area.

SHOPHOUSE CONVERSION TO FOOD AND BEVERAGE

Shophouse

Restaurant

Restaurants are premises that are primarily used for the sale of food for consumption at the premises without performance of live music or live entertainment and where the sale of liquor and alcoholic drinks, if any, is for consumption on the premises and incidental to the consumption of food.

A restaurant cannot be used as a bar.

  • Includes a coffee shop, eating house, snack bar, cafeteria, foodcourt, fast-food restaurant.

In evaluating whether premises approved for Restaurant use is materially changed to a Bar or Pub, the following are some of the considerations which URA will take into account:

Whether there is a kitchen or area for preparation of food located within the premises, and whether food and meals are made available to customers at all times until a reasonable time prior to closing of the premises during or at the end of the day;

Whether there are adequate dining spaces within the indoor areas of the premises which are suitably furnished for customers to have their food and meals;

Whether there are any marketing or publicity materials at or in the premises or any other place, forum or platform (e.g. banners, Facebook) representing or indicating that the premises is a place for liquor or alcoholic drinking; and

Whether the premises is decorated in any manner or with paraphernalia associated with a Bar or Pub to give public the idea or perception that it is a place primarily for liquor or alcoholic drinking.

Locations where a new restaurant can be considered for approval:

  • Shopping centres and commercial buildings. Planning permission is not required.
  • Check Land Use Zoning in the Master Plan 2014.
  • Change of Use applications for restaurants located in shop houses outside problematic areas are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Clearance from the Land Transport Authority may be required for traffic and car parking matters.

Locations where a new restaurant is unlikely to be approved:

  • Shophouses within problematic traffic areas:

 

 

AreaBoundary
Balestier RoadThomson Road to Moulmein Road
East CoastJoo Chiat Road to Still Road
Still Road to Telok Karau Road
Lothian Terrace to Siglap Road
Joot Chiat AreaJoo Chiat Road (Changi Road to East Coast Road)
Joo Chiat Place (Joo Chiat Road to Still Road)
Changi RoadJalan Eunos / Still Road to Jalan Kembangan / Frankel Avenue
Macpherson RoadWoodsville Interchange to Kallang Pudding Road
Upper Serangoon RoadTampines Road to Lim Ah Pin Road
Upper Paya Lebar RoadLorong Ah Soo to Paya Lebar Crescent
River Valley RoadZion Road to Kellock Road
GeylangLorong 1 Geylang to Paya Lebar Road
Bukit Timah Road / Dunearn RoadBinjai Park (Jalan Jambu Mawar To Jalan Jambu Ayer)
Bukit Timah Road (Wilby Road to Elm Avenue)
Bukit Timah Road (Anamalai Avenue to Fourth Avenue)
Tanjong Katong RoadDunman Road to Mounbatten Road
Greenwood AvenueJunction of Greenwood Avenue and Hillcrest Road
Sembawang RoadJalan Mata Ayer to Yishun Avenue 5
Sembawang RoadMandai Road to Transit Road
Serangoon Garden WayKensington Park Road to Maju Avenue
Chartwell Drive to Pensburst Place
Kampong ClamBounded by Victoria Street, Jalan Sultan, Beach Road and Ophir Road
Kampong Bahru Road / Spottiswoode ParkBlair Road to Everton Road
Everton Road to Neil Road
Jalan RiangJalan Riang to Wolskel Road
 

Restarant with ancillary live music / performace

l Change of Use applications for restaurants with ancillary live music/performance are evaluated on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the relevant agencies (LTA, SPF).

Locations where a restaurant with ancillary bar can be considered for approval:

  • Commercial buildings, shopping centres and hotels.
  • Check Land Use Zoning in the Master Plan 2014.

Locations where a new restaurant with ancillary live music/performance is unlikely to be approved:

  • Shophouses within problematic traffic areas
    (refer to restaurant guidelines above)
  • Shophouses located near residential areas.
  • Premises located in these areas:
    • Balestier
    • Boat Quay
    • Upper Circular Road
    • Chinatown
    • Geylang
    • Joo Chiat
    • Kampong Glam
    • Kampong Bahru / Blair Plain
    • Little India
    • Jalan Besar
    • Upper Thomson Road (Thomson Village)

Restaurant with ancillary bar

Applicants who wish to include a bar in their restaurants have to seek planning permission from URA by submitting a Change of Use Application for “Restaurant with ancillary bar”.  The primary use of such premises is still for a restaurant use, with the ancillary bar supporting the restaurants’ operations.  Such premises cannot operate solely as a bar, The consumption of alcohol is to be accompanied with food during meal times.   However, the sale and consumption of alcohol without food can continue after normal meal times subject to the Liquor Licence conditions and restriction in operating hours.

All Change of Use applications for restaurants with ancillary bar are evaluated on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the relevant agencies (LTA, SPF).

Locations where a restaurant with ancillary bar can be considered for approval:

  • Commercial buildings, shopping centres and hotels.
  • Check Land Use Zoning in the Master Plan 2014.

Locations where a new restaurant with ancillary bar is unlikely to be approved:

  • Shop houses within problematic traffic areas
    (refer to restaurant guidelines above)
  • Shop houses located near residential areas.
  • Premises located in these areas:
    • Balestier
    • Boat Quay
    • Upper Circular Road
    • Chinatown
    • Geylang
    • Joo Chiat
    • Kampong Glam
    • Kampong Bahru / Blair Plain
    • Little India
    • Jalan Besar
    • Upper Thomson Road (Thomson Village)

Takeaway Food Shop

Takeaway food shops are premises used to retail food or drinks for consumption away from the premises and may include a small area for ancillary food preparation. No food or drinks is allowed to be consumed on the premises (i.e. dine-in is not allowed).

See examples of takeaway food shops in Class I – Shop.

Locations where a new takeaway food shop can be considered for approval:

  • Approved shop premises (e.g. shopping centres, commercial buildings, hotels, shop houses). Planning permission is not required.
  • Check Land Use Zoning in the Master Plan 2014.

Locations where a new takeaway food shop is unlikely to be approved:

  • Non-commercial premises (e.g. residential premises, industrial premises).

Shophouse

SHOPHOUSE CONVERSION TO CHILDCARE CENTRE / KINDERGARTEN / STUDENT CARE CENTRE

Shophouse

Community Use

Child Care Centre, Student Care Centre,  Kindergarten in Shophouse

Under current guidelines, childcare centres are permitted in landed shophouse housing estates, except Good Class Bungalow Area, to meet the needs of residents there.   However, to protect the residential amenity, conversion of landed houses to such uses is only allowed on Temporary Permission.  The operators should ensure that noise and traffic disturbance to the neighbours is kept to the minimum. The TP will be cancelled if there are excessive disamenities and complaints on the use.

New applications for change of use of landed houses to childcare centres, students’ care centres and kindergartens are subject to evaluation, taking into the site context and inputs from relevant agencies (e.g. LTA).    The proposal has to comply with the following criteria before the application can be considered:

  1. The change of use is for a detached house or a pair of semi-detached.  This is to reduce the noise disturbance of childcare centres to the neighbours that share the same party wall as these childcare centres.
  2. There are no other childcare centres located within 350m radius from the subject premises.  This is to minimise any adverse impact on the residential character of the landed housing estate and extraneous traffic flow in and out of the estate. Waiver of this requirement may be considered on a case-by-case basis if the proposal is supported by the Neighbourhood Committee (NC).   In estates without a NC waiver may be considered on a case-by-case basis if the residents staying immediately next to and opposite the proposed new childcare centre support the proposal.
    • The childcare centre operator is to put in place traffic and noise control measures from the onset.
    • The owner of the property and the childcare centre operator are required to submit a joint letter of undertaking (LOU) to ensure that adequate traffic and noise controls measures will be carried out and take immediate remedial actions if the centre receives adverse feedback from the neighbours.  If the problems persist and are not resolved satisfactorily with the neighbours, the temporary permission (TP) of the childcare centre will not be renewed upon expiry or may be revoked.
    • The CCC shall not be used for other purposes beyond its operating hours stipulated under the Child Care Centre licence.  The centre is to be closed at all other times.
    • Approval for CCC will be on two-year TP.   The TP will be cancelled if there are excessive disamenities and complaints on the use.

Locations where child care centres, student care centres and kindergartens in landed houses are unlikely to be approved:

  • Sites located within a Good Class Bungalow Area
  • Sites where there is one or more than approved CCC within 350m radius
  • Sites located along major roads or road junctions
  • Sites located along cul-de-sac road or no-through road.

“child care centre” means — (a) a building that is licensed as a child care centre under section 4 of the Child Care Centres Act (Cap.37A); (b) a building used as a centre at which 5 or more school-going children who are between the ages of 7 and 14 years are habitually received for the purposes of care and supervision before or after school hours; or (c) a kindergarten registered as a kindergarten under section 23 of the Education Act (Cap.87).

Simplified approval process for change of use to childcare centres, kindergartens and student care centres in work places, commercial, community and institutional buildings

URA will authorise childcare centre, student care centre and kindergarten (CCC) use in selected types of developments in work places, commercial, community and institutional buildings without the need to submit development applications provided the conditions of the authorisation are satisfied.  For other development types, CCC proposals can be lodged under the Plan Lodgment Scheme.

Conditions for Authorisation of CCCs

  • The proposal does not involve any increase in the Gross Floor Area (GFA) of the development;
  • Approvals have been obtained from the relevant government agencies such as FSSD and LTA. If the building is owned by the State, approval from SLA and the government agencies managing the building (e.g. HDB for HDB premises, PA for community centre, JTC for factory, warehouse and business park) is required prior to any change of uses; and
  • GFA of the CCC is less than 50% of the total GFA of the development. This condition, however, is not applicable for building types under items 6 and 7.

Conditions for Plan Lodgment

  • Compliance with the maximum GFA control for specific type of uses within the building and the lodgment conditions.
  • An applicant can lodge a proposal for change of use with URA and obtain instant authorisation as long as the proposal meets the lodgment criteria .

Situations where CCCs do not satisfy the conditions for authorisation or plan lodgment:

  • All other types of buildings not listed.
  • Proposals that do not satisfy the conditions for authorisation or plan lodgement.
  • Conserved buildings located within the Historic Conservation Areas.
  • Premises designated for activity generating uses in the prevailing Master Plan.

Submission Matrix

summaries the categories of buildings for which change of use proposals to CCC can be authorised or can be lodged (subject to the conditions of authorisation or plan lodgement) or for which application for change of use to CCC must be submitted to URA for approval. It serves as a reference guide for applicants wanting to set up childcare centres in different types of buildings.

Shophouse

SHOPHOUSE CONVERSION TO MEDICIAL CLINIC

Shophouse for Medicial Clinics

Allowable quantum for medical clinics within commercial buildings

The total Gross Floor Area (GFA) for medical clinics within a commercial building will be capped at 3,000sqm or 20% of the total floor area approved for commercial use, whichever is lower. Proposals for medical clinics that exceed this allowable quantum for commercial developments will generally not be supported unless there are strong justifications and clearance from relevant agencies.

The 20% GFA cap does not apply to medical clinics located in shop house developments and HDB shops. This allows operators to set up clinics in HDB estates and in small shop house developments, where the 20% quantum limit may be too restrictive. The total GFA for medical clinic use in the development however should not exceed 3,000sqm.

Where the approved or existing medical clinics within a commercial development have already exceeded the above quantum cap, they are allowed to remain and will not be required to reduce the total floor area of medical clinics.

Planning applications for medical clinics

Under the new guidelines, operators who wish to set up medical clinics in commercial buildings are required to submit a planning application to URA for evaluation.  There are however exemptions to facilitate operators setting up in buildings with few existing clinics.

A planning application is not required if the total medical clinic GFA in the development including the proposed clinic does not exceed 1,000sqm or 20% of the total commercial GFA of the development, whichever is lower. For shop houses and HDB shops, a planning application is not required if the total medical clinic GFA in the block including the proposed clinic does not exceed 1,000sqm, and HDB’s prior approval has been obtained for the use of HDB shops.

Operators who wish to set up medical clinics should write to MOH to verify that the proposed clinic would qualify under the exemptions, failing which they will need to submit a planning application to URA. In addition, the operator should obtain the necessary clearances and permits from relevant licensing agencies, including MOH and Fire Safety and Shelter Department (FSSD) before commencing the use.

 Shophouse

SHOPHOUSE CONVERSION TO HOTEL

Shophouse

Guidelines on Temporary Change of Use to Hotel Use within Selected Shop houses and Shop flat Developments

Hotel development is permissible within sites zoned Hotel in the Master Plan. Hotel development on sites zoned Commercial and Commercial & Residential are subject to case-by-case evaluation and generally not supported within an area where feedback on disamenities from the existing hotels have been received.Sites which are not zoned Hotel, Commercial or Commercial & Residential will generally not be supported for hotel use

Temporary change of use of existing buildings

To attract a wider variety of tourists to Singapore, URA and STB are keen to increase the range of tourist accommodation in Singapore. In particular, more budget no-frills lodging in the form of boarding houses, tourist hostels and dormitories could be introduced to attract more backpackers to visit Singapore.

Hence, we have reviewed the guidelines and can now allow existing shop house and shop flat developments in selected locations to convert to hotel use on a temporary basis subject to the requirements below.

For existing shop house and shop flat developments in areas where adverse feedback against hotels have been received, the temporary change of use for hotel will generally not be supported unless the applicants are able to provide adequate measures to address potential amenity concerns. However, such applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis and if allowed, would be subject to the requirements below.

Requirements for temporary change of use to hotel in the selected locations

Interested operators keen to set up hotels or other tourist accommodations in the selected locations in are required to submit a Change of Use Application to URA for consideration.

The requirements for such temporary change of use to hotel are as follows:
a.  The subject building is an existing shop house or shop flat building which has not undergone reconstruction or redevelopment. Purpose-built mixed-use developments designed with appropriate separation (e.g. separate block, separate access) of residential units from the commercial uses are not permitted for change of use.

b. The proposed change of use is subject to compliance with all development control requirements.

c. The proposed change of use must include all the residential units located on the same floor sharing a common lift or staircase access and the hotel should preferably be located below the residential units in the building. This is to ensure that the hotel use does not cause any negative impact on any immediate neighbours. Conversion to hotel can also be considered for the entire building.

d. Permission will be granted on temporary basis for a period of one year. Only one temporary permission will be granted to a single operator for the each change of use proposal. The temporary permission can be renewed if the hotel use does not create any disamenity problems to the surrounding residents.

e. Operators must take every care to ensure that the activities of their businesses do not cause disturbance to the neighbours. For instance, the hotel shall not be used illegally as workers’ quarters. Should the use attract complaints on disamenities and the operator fails to take mitigating measures or should the hotel use be changed illegally to other uses, the temporary permission will be terminated.

f. Upon redevelopment of the site, any temporary permission granted to the site for conversion to hotel use will cease to apply immediately. The redevelopment is to adhere to the long-term intention of the Master Plan zoning,

i.e. for Residential with Commercial on 1st Storey or Commercial & Residential.

For existing standalone purpose-built commercial/residential developments zoned Commercial & Residential and not included in the streetblocks, conversions of individual flats to hotel will generally not be supported unless the proposal includes all the residential units in the development. There are greater disamenity concerns if ad-hoc conversion to hotel is proposed in these purpose-built predominantly residential developments.

Compliance with Technical Requirements

Prospective hotel operators should consult the relevant technical agencies to ensure that the development complies with the necessary requirements before proceeding to submit for change-of-use approval.

Shophouses with timber flooring are generally not allowed for hotel use due to fire safety concerns. Prospective hotel operators could consult the Fire Safety & Shelter Department (FSSD) on fire-safety measures to ensure that the hotel complies with the FSSD requirements before proceeding with the change of use application.

For more information on setting up hotels and related operations, please approach Singapore Tourism Board – Hospitality Business 

Applications for change of use can be submitted electronically via the URA website. Please note that the applicant has to obtain the consent of the owner before submitting the application.

 Shophouse

SHOPHOUSE CONVERSION TO COMMUNITY BUILDING / ASSOCIATION / COMMUNITY CLUB / FAMILY SERVICE CENTRE

Shophouse

Community Building / Association / Community Club / Family Service Centre

Community Buildings refer to shophouse premises used for community-based activities and includes an office of an association or a society, a community centre, a community club, family service centre or residents’ committee centre.  But they do not include premises used as a funeral parlour, welfare home, childcare centre a home for the aged or a home for the disabled.

Locations where community building use can be considered for approval:

  • Sites zoned for Civic and Community Institution (C&CI), Commercial
  • Approved shop premises (e.g. commercial buildings, shopping centres, shophouses)
  • Check Land Use Zoning in the Master Plan 2014
  • Change of Use applications for community building use located in shophouses are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  Some areas of consideration include:
    • whether the community building use will affect the character/ambience of the area
    • amenity issues e.g. noise, traffic and car parking problems

Locations where community building use is unlikely to be approved:

Non-C&CI and commercial premises (e.g. residential premises, industrial premises).

Shophouse

SHOPHOUSE CONVERSION TO RELIGIOUS USE

Shophouse 

Limited & Non-Exclusive Religious Use in Commercial Buildings

Religious activities should be conducted at shophouse sites that are specially designated for worship. These sites are zoned “Place of Worship” in the Master Plan.

Commercial developments zoned “Commercial” in the Master Plan are intended to provide spaces to support secular, economic activities that serve people from all segments of our society. Exclusive use of commercial developments for religious purposes would constitute a material change of use and is not in line with the planning intention for commercial developments.

However, religious use on a non-exclusive and limited basis may be considered on a case by case basis if such use is not likely to cause disturbances such as noise, parking or traffic problems.

To ensure that commercial uses remain the predominant use within sites zoned Commercial, the following set of guidelines are put in place to guide the non-exclusive and limited use of commercial spaces for religious purposes:

  • Only existing approved auditorium, function hall, ballroom, convention hall and cinema/cineplex located within commercial and hotel developments can be considered for non-exclusive and limited religious use, so long as such uses are not likely to cause disamenities and traffic problems.
  • The premises shall not be owned by or leased exclusively to religious organisations. The premises should be available to be rented out for other commercial events such as seminars, conferences and performances, etc.
  • The maximum space within a commercial development that can be considered for non-exclusive and limited religious use shall not exceed a Gross Floor Area (GFA) of 20,000 sqm or 20% of total GFA of the development, whichever is lower. Each religious organisation is limited to use up to 10,000 sqm in any commercial space at any one time. This is to ensure that a single religious organisation does not dominate a particular commercial development by taking up a very large amount of space. The exact quantum of these caps have been determined with reference to existing usage patterns but taking into consideration the need to ensure that the predominant use of these premises remain “Commercial”, and that different religious organisation have the opportunity to access these large venues for their activities.
  • The use of the commercial space for religious activities shall not exceed two days a week including Saturday and Sunday.
  • There shall be no display of signage, advertisements or posters of the religious use at the premises or on the exterior of the building. The premises should not be furnished to resemble a worship hall and there shall be no display of religious symbols, icons or any religious paraphernalia at or within the venue when it is not in use by the religious organisation.
  • The building owner and the religious organisation shall take appropriate measures to ensure that the activities do not cause disturbances to the public.

In addition, owners of convention centres must provide documentary proof to show that the religious use will not compromise the staging of events during weekends.

If a religious organisation intends to use commercial premises for religious activities on a regular and non ad-hoc basis, it will need to provide information regarding the nature and frequency of use, size of the premises etc. If the use is allowed, the property owner and the religious organisation will then need to submit a joint Letter of Undertaking to abide by the conditions.

Limited & Non-Exclusive Religious Use in Industrial Premises

Religious activities should be conducted at sites that are specially designated for worship. These sites are zoned “Place of Worship” in the Master Plan.

Under current guidelines, religious use is not permitted in industrial premises. Premises zoned for industrial use are primarily safeguarded for industrial activities such as manufacturing, production and warehousing activities to support our economic development. The land use zoning ensures that our industries have access to competitively-priced land. Conversion of industrial premises for non-industrial uses is not allowed as it will lead to an erosion of industrial space.

However, religious use on non-exclusive and limited basis within industrial premises that are zoned Business  (B1) may be considered on a case by case basis provided the predominant use is kept as industrial use and the religious use does not alter the primary character and function of the industrial premises. “Non-exclusive and limited religious use” means that the industrial premises shall not be used exclusively for religious use at the expense of industrial activities; and religious activities in industrial premises are limited to only certain days in a week and occupy only part of the industrial premises within the ancillary use quantum. Conversion of industrial premises into places of worship or offices for religious organisations will continue to be disallowed.

Guidelines

Areas within B1 industrial premises that can be considered for non-exclusive and limited religious use are as follows (subject to conditions below):

  • Existing common facilities that are allowable within the 40% ancillary use quantum, such as auditoriums, multi-purpose halls, theatres and training rooms. These common facilities are intended to serve the needs of all the factory operators in the industrial development. Religious activities can be allowed in these common facilities for a maximum of two days per week (including Saturdays and Sundays).
  • Ancillary supporting spaces within each factory unit such as meeting rooms and training rooms that are currently used to support industrial activities. These spaces can be allowed for religious use when the factory is not in operation (for instance on Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays or at night) so that it does not conflict with or displace industrial activities. However, if the factory unit is vacant, religious use will not be allowed. Ancillary supporting spaces should not exceed 40% of the factory unit size.

Conditions

The non-exclusive and limited use of industrial premises for religious purposes is subject to the following conditions:

No exclusive lease, no ownership of premises by the religious organisations

The premises shall not be owned by or leased exclusively to religious organisations. The common facilities such as ancillary-approved auditoriums, multi-purpose halls, theatres and training rooms shall be available for industrial-related activities such as industrial training/talks, product demonstrations, etc., during the remaining days in the week;

No display of external signage or religious symbols

There shall be no display of signage, advertisements or posters of the religious use at the premises or on the exterior of the building. The premises should not be furnished to resemble a worship hall and there shall be no display of religious symbols, icons or any religious paraphernalia at or within the venue when it is not in use by the religious organisation; and

No disturbances such as noise, fumes, traffic, and parking problems

The building owners and the religious organisations shall take appropriate measures to ensure that the activities do not cause disturbances to the public.

Grace Period

Existing religious organisations that are using factory units for religious uses on an exclusive basis will be granted a three-year grace period to comply with the guidelines and conditions as stated above. During the three-year grace period, they can continue their religious use, subject to the following conditions:

  • the use shall not cause any disturbances such as noise, fumes, traffic and parking problems;
  • the use shall not spill outside the factory unit onto common or public areas;
  • there shall be no intensification of religious use; and
  • there shall be no unauthorised structures or tentages

If complaints on such existing religious use are received during the grace period, the religious organisation will have to take immediate mitigating measures to address the concerns. After the three-year grace period, the religious organisations should either relocate to approved places for Place of Worship or scale back their usage to comply with the non-exclusive and limited religious use guidelines.

No new religious organisations will be allowed to use industrial premises on an exclusive basis after the effective date of this circular. The three-year grace period will not be applicable to them and they will be subject to enforcement action.

Religious organisations who wish to use industrial premises for non-exclusive and limited basis are required to obtain prior clearance from URA. They must provide information including the size of the factory unit, type of industrial activity, nature and frequency of religious use, etc, using the attached template. If the use is allowed, the property owner and the religious organisation will then need to submit a joint Letter of Undertaking to abide by the conditions.

Shophouse

SHOPHOUSE CONVERSION TO SPORT AND RECREATION

Shophouse Sports and Recreation Building & Entertainment

Fitness Centre / GYM

Fitness centre/gym refers to premises used for physical exercise and fitness activities in shophouse.

Locations where fitness centre/gym can be considered for approval:

  • Commercial buildings, shopping centres and sites zoned for sports and recreation use
  • Check Land Use Zoning in the Master Plan 2014
  • A Change of Use application for fitness centre is a shop house is individually evaluated and takes into consideration amenity issues e.g. noise, traffic, car parking to surrounding residents

A Change of Use application for fitness centre/gym in outlying industrial premises can be considered subject to the following conditions:

  • The fitness centre/ gym is located at 1st storey of the industrial development
  • The total area of the fitness centre/ gym and other permissible commercial uses (i.e. clinic, bank hall /ATM, minimart) does not exceed 200sqm or 10% of the total proposed GFA of the industrial development, whichever is lower
  • If supported, the gym/fitness centre will be approved on Temporary Permission for up to three years and Temporary Development Levy at commercial rates will be levied

Shophouse Locations where a new fitness centre/gym is unlikely to be approved:

  • Non-commercial premises (e.g. residential premises)

Recreation Clubhouse

Recreation clubhouse refers to premises that provide a range of recreational facilities for the enjoyment of its members.

Locations where recreation clubhouse use can be considered for approval:

  • Commercial buildings, shopping centres, and sites zoned for sports and recreation use
  • Check Land Use Zoning in the Master Plan 2014.
  • A Change of Use application for a recreation clubhouse in a shop house considers:
  • whether the clubhouse will affect surrounding residents
  • amenity issues e.g. noise, traffic and car parking problems

Locations where a new recreation clubhouse is unlikely to be approved:

  • Non-commercial premises (e.g. residential premises, industrial premises)
  • Shop houses located near residential areas

Amusement Centre / Games Arcade

Amusement Centre

Amusement centres are premises where jackpot machines, pin-ball machines, video-game machines and other similar machines are provided for entertainment. This includes video games arcades, computer gaming centres, billiard saloons and bowling alleys.

Locations where a new amusement centre can be considered for approval:

  • Commercial buildings, shopping centres and hotels.
  • Sports and recreation buildings (e.g. clubhouse).
  • Check Land Use Zoning in the Master Plan 2014.

Each Change of Use application for an amusement centre is individually evaluated in consultation with the Police and considers:

  • whether the business will affect the character/ambience of the area
  • amenity issues (e.g. noise, traffic and car parking problems)
  • residents’ concerns on social problems and vice issues

Locations where a new amusement centre is unlikely to be approved:

  • Shop house located near residential areas.

Premises located in these areas:

  • Balestier
  • Boat Quay
  • Upper Circular Road
  • Chinatown
  • Geylang
  • Joo Chiat
  • Kampong Glam
  • Kampong Bahru / Blair Plain
  • Little India
  • Jalan Besar
  • Upper Thomson Road (Thomson Village)
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