Converting a shop to an office or storage facility Back to Blog

Converting a shop to an office or storage facility

Converting a shop to an office or storage facility

If you currently own property that is in shop use, you can change it to office use for a single period of two years without planning permission. If, however, you seek to convert your shop in to an office for a period longer than two years, you may require planning permission.

Planning permission is not required prior to work being carried out, but shop owners who do this run the risk of having to undo all of their work if planning permission is refused at a later date. For this reason, we recommend that you seek planning permission approval prior to starting your project.

A1 and B1 use classes

Premises in shop use are classed as A1 and premises that are in office use are classed as B1. As noted above, shops (A1) do not need to seek planning permission to convert in to an office (B1), if the premises will not be used that way for more than a single period of two years.

Any premises that plans to remain B1 for longer than two years will need to seek planning permission from the Local Planning Authority. Although prior planning permission is not required for this from the outset, it is highly recommended.

B8 (Storage)

If you plan to use your existing A1 premises for business storage use, you will require B8 planning permission. Storage (B8) is a different class within the planning system and requires consultation with your Local Planning Authority, even if your premises will not be used this way for longer than two years.

A2 (Financial and Professional Services)

If you plan to operate a company that deals in the financial and professional services industry, such as banking, employment or real estate (but not health or medical), you will need to apply for A2 (Financial and Professional Services) planning permission.

Other things to bear in mind

You should bear in mind that some local authorities have specific policies regarding the level of retail use. Also, changes in signage are likely to require express advertisement consent.

For more information on converting a shop in to an office, please visit The Planning Portal.

The information contained within this article is strictly for guidance only.  Cost2Build recommends that you always check current sources of information in case regulations have changed. Cost2Build cannot accept any liability for miscommunication of the law in the case of a change in regulation or any action done to a property based on the information held in this article.

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