Regardless of whether you own or rent a commercial space, there are
specific laws that you need to adhere should there be change of use of
a commercial space. If you own an existing commercial space, say a
supermarket, and would like to change it to another type of commercial
activity, say a hotel, then you need to apply in writing to the URA.
According to the URA, written permission is needed in order to develop
any land. The Planning Act (cap 232, 1998 Ed) defines "development" as
the making of any material change in the use of any building or land.
Therefore, when you change the use of a vacant piece of land without
structures or building to another use, you may need to apply for
planning permission if there is a material change of use.
There are 16 use classes under the Planning (Use Classes) Rules.
Unless specifically exempted, planning permission for a change of use
is required when there is a change in the use is from one use class to
another use class or the change of use involves uses which do not fall
into any use class. For a list of use classes, go to
Whether or not your application is successful, will be assessed against
the 2008 Master Plan zoning of the building and the prevailing
guidelines. You can check the Master Plan at
If your commercial space is located within a building, you can check
the URA’s Building Use Table to find out the allowable change of uses
within a building. The Building Use Table is a simplified matrix to
guide the public on the allowable change of uses under the different
Master Plan zonings. For more information go to
Change of use for tenanted/licensed state properties
State properties fall under the purview of the Singapore Land Authority
(SLA). They are tenanted out for interim use at rentals or fees
generally based on the use and size of the state property. The use and
size of the state property are set out expressly in the Tenancy
Agreement or Temporary Occupation License (TOL). Tenants who want to
propose a change of use at tenanted state properties will first need to
seek SLA's approval as agent of the landowner. Tenants will then seek
technical clearances from the various agencies on their own, if
required. If the approved use and/or intensity exceeds that stated in
the Tenancy Agreement or Temporary Occupation License, the rental/TOL
fees will have to be revised accordingly.
Procedures for change of use for tenanted/licensed state properties:
- You are required to first consult the SLA in writing if you wish to
apply for a change of use for the State property that you are renting.
- SLA will evaluate whether your proposal is acceptable and can be submitted to the URA for planning evaluation.
- If your proposal is accepted by the SLA, you would then have to consult
the relevant agencies and obtain clearances from these agencies. The
clearances are required to facilitate the processing of change of use
and are not exhaustive. Additional clearances might be required
depending on your application.
- You are then required to submit a change of use application to the URA,
Development Control Division, together with the supporting approvals
from the above-mentioned agencies, for approval.
- If the URA is supportive of your change of use proposal, they will issue you a Planning Permission.
- The SLA will then follow up on the revision of your rental (effective
from the date of the URA's approval), if applicable, and inform you
For more information log on to http://www.sla.gov.sg/htm/ser/ser0211.htm