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Planning Permission for Retail Premises

It can be complex to consider planning permission for commercial properties. So, if you intend to develop or extend a retail premise, matters could get tricky.

When Planning Permission is Necessary

All forms of property development require you to seek statutory consent. However, you may not require planning permission when repairing and replacing fences and walls below a particular height. Also, you can alter the interior of your property if it is not listed.

Retail premises also fall into various categories of use known as “Use Classes”. If you are a property owner and you intend to alter the form or use of your building or land, it is advisable to know what use class your property belongs. Therefore, this knowledge will help you determine what sections of your property, which require planning permission.

When Change of use Requires Consent

If you are a leaseholder or buyer of a property, you may require statutory consent to convert the purpose of that property.

Retail premises
Above: A model portraying commercial property

Where do Your Retail Premises Belong? Let us find out!

According to the Town and Country Planning Order 1987, your property is classified according to its use and could fall within any of the following categories:

        1. Part A

  • A1 shops
  • A2 financial and professional services
  • A3 restaurants and cafes
  • A4 drinking establishments
  • A5 hot food takeaways

       2. Part B

  • B1 business
  • B2 general industrial
  • B8 storage or distribution

       3. Part C

  • C1 hotels
  • C2 residential institutions
  • C2A secure residential institution
  • C3 dwellinghouses
  • C4 houses in multiple occupations

         4. Part D

  • D1 non-residential institutions
  • D2 assembly and leisure

If you have a property whose use is absent in the above category, then its use is “sui generis”. For more information, visit Planning Portal.

Also, you can convert café into the restaurant without planning permission. This is because both retail premises fall within the same category of planning use: A3. There have also been recent amendments in regards to the change of use.

planning permission
Above: Flats or houses in multiple occupations (HMOs)

Home Business

You do not need planning permission to use one home room as an office. However, this is true provided that the purpose of your house remains residential. You may have to apply for the permit if feel that activities at home would infringe on your neighbours. For example, more movement and parking.

Extension of Retail Property

You can add more buildings to your compound. However, you may require permission for major extensions. For example, single-storey and double-storey extensions.

All in all, always consult with the local planning authorities in your Council as the requirements of the Building Regulation differ.

 

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