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Shops

I want to convert a shop to a café, public house or takeaway (Use Classes A3, A4 and A5).

Planning Permission

Premises in use as a shop (Use Class E) are able to change to a café (also Use Class E). The change of use is within the same Use Class, so planning permission will not normally be required, though any work associated with the change may require permission.

However, if you wanted to change the use to a public house or takeaway (both ‘Sui Generis’ uses – i.e. ‘in a class of its own’) planning permission will be required because the proposed use would be in a different use class (or in these cases, no specified Use Class) to the existing use, and there is no current ‘permitted development’ right to make this specific change of use.

Find out more about Use Classes1

Find out more about planning permission, permitted development and changes of use2.

If you do need planning permission, then you will need to consider whether your proposal complies with the Council’s planning policies. These will consider the impact of your proposal in terms of the impact on the vitality and the viability of the shopping area, the impact on neighbours, and the parking and highway implications.

Permission will also be required for commercial extractor flues if cooking is intended to be carried out on the premises.

The placing of tables and chairs on the highway* is very likely to require a licence from the highway authority to allow them to assess factors such as pedestrian movements, sight lines and road safety.

Changes in signage are likely to require express Advertisement Consent.

You may also require the consent of the landlord or landowner for any works.

*Highway refers to footways and verges associated with publicly maintained roads.

Building Regulations

The building regulations may apply to certain changes of use of an existing building even though you may think that the work involved in the project will not amount to 'Building Work'. You may wish to contact your local Building Control body for further advice.

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Useful links

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    1. https://www.planningportal.co.uk/permission/common-projects/change-of-use/use-classes
    2. https://www.planningportal.co.uk/permission/common-projects/change-of-use/planning-permission

    The Planning Portal is delivered by PortalPlanQuest Limited which is a joint venture between TerraQuest Solutions Limited and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities. All content © 2022 Planning Portal.

    The Planning Portal is delivered by PortalPlanQuest Limited which is a joint venture between TerraQuest Solutions Limited and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities. All content © 2022 Planning Portal.