Change of Use of Commercial Spaces to Medical Clinics

Most medical centres and private clinics are located on sites zoned for Health & Medical Care (HMC) use, or HMC developments in short. However, it is increasingly common for private medical centres to be located in mixed commercial developments. Hence URA issued new guidelines in 2014 with regards to medical centres.

Are private medical clinics allowed to operate in commercial buildings?

Private medical clinics is an allowable use within commercial buildings. Such buildings refer to shopping and office developments approved on sites zoned Commercial or other commercial premises approved within the allowable commercial quantum of sites zoned Hotel, White, Commercial & Residential, Residential with 1st Storey Commercial, Business Park, and Business-White.

These clinics may be allowed subject to the following conditions:

  • The total GFA for medical clinics is capped at 3,000sqm or 20% of the total floor area approved for commercial use, whichever is lower.
  • The 20% GFA cap does not apply to medical clinics located in shophouse developments and HDB shops where the 20% quantum limit would be too restrictive. The total GFA for medical clinic shall, however, not exceed 3,000sqm.

Who needs to apply for URA change of use approval?

The intending tenant should apply with the endorsement from the building owner.

What approvals are necessary for medical clinics?

Planning permission is required for new private medical clinics in commercial buildings except in the following situations:

  • 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 shophouses and HDB shops, 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.

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

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