If you’re changing the nature of your business, read this first! 

This time last year, who would have thought that a year later, we would be living this way? 
2020 has been a trying time for everyone and some business owners, particularly those in the hospitality sector have had to resort to measures beyond their comfort zone to make ends meet. Eat-in restaurants have become take-away delivery services and some have begun to stock essentials so their doors can open to the public. Some larger pubs turned their land into drive-thru winter wonderlands with a socially distanced Santa experience. 
Business owners have shown great resourcefulness as means of survival but it’s not always that easy, particularly as planning is required for certain adjustments to your place of business. 
Planning permission is not required if switching from one retail product to another, I.e., clothing to groceries, unless there is building work associated with the change of use. However, if it is proposed to change from one use class to another, planning permission is most definitely required beforehand. 
If you decide to change the use of buildings or land whether temporarily or not, it is highly recommended that you seek advice to confirm whether planning permission is required as failing to do so could have expensive consequences. For example, a retail establishment wishing to convert into a cafe needs planning as there are so many factors to be considered, including; noise, waste and the impact of services on the surrounding shopping area. However you change your business, if your external signage changes without permission, you could be asked to remove it if it doesn’t comply with the high street’s general aesthetic. 
Should you wish to convert any retail or leisure establishment to residential, there are many more factors to consider including; transport and highways, flooding and the impact of residential use on the sustainability of the area’s industrial or distribution services. In the short-term a change of business to maintain cash-flow may seem beneficial but in the long term, without proper planning, it could end up costing you more in the long run. 
Also, if you’re deciding to set up something new, before you lease or buy a property for your business, you should check whether you need to obtain planning permission for its intended use, and if so, your chances of getting it. 
Please contact Eznat should you wish to make any changes to your place of business or the nature of it as we can help obtain the correct permissions on your behalf. 
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