Do I Need Permission To Change Shop Front
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Do I need permission to change my shop front? Learn about the permissions required for alterations. Our guide clarifies the process of obtaining necessary permissions for modifying your storefront. From regulations to local guidelines, ensure a smooth transition with expert advice.
Do You Need Planning Permission to Change Your Shopfront?
If you are a business owner considering changes to your shopfront, it's important to understand whether planning permission is required. Alterations to the physical appearance of your shopfront may necessitate planning permission, while minor changes may not.
Full planning permission is typically required for significant alterations such as replacing the shopfront, installing or replacing entrance doors and windows, and making security improvements. For minor shopfront alterations that do not materially change the outward appearance of the property, planning permission may not be necessary.
However, if your shop is a listed building or part of one, listed building consent is required for internal and external alterations. If your changes involve adding or changing advertisements or signs on your shopfront, you may need to apply for advertisement consent.
To determine if planning permission is needed, it's advisable to apply for a Lawful Development Certificate. This certificate confirms that the proposed alterations comply with regulations. This is especially useful for minor alterations that may not require full planning permission.
Consulting with your local planning authority or seeking professional advice is crucial to ensure compliance with planning regulations specific to your location. They can provide guidance tailored to your circumstances.
Shop front alterations?
The key factor in determining the need for permission is whether the proposed alterations amount to development. When it comes to shop front alterations, specific circumstances trigger the requirement for planning permission.
If the changes would materially alter the appearance of the premises, such as replacing doors, shopfronts, or windows, planning permission is likely necessary. This ensures that the alterations align with the overall aesthetic of the property.
For listed buildings, additional considerations come into play. Any alterations, whether internal or external, require a listed building consent. This safeguard ensures the preservation of historically significant elements of the property.
Regarding signage alterations, there may be provisions for deemed consent, particularly for traditional non-illuminated signs, subject to specific criteria. The Town & Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 2007 (as amended) - Part 2 provides guidance on deemed consent.
The government also published a booklet on outdoor adverts and signs in 2007, which can provide useful information. In conservation areas, further restrictions on signage size and placement may apply. Consult any supplementary guidance issued by your local authority as part of the local plan for more details.
It's important to consider building regulations as well, as certain alterations to shop fronts may require compliance to ensure safety and structural integrity.
Lastly, obtaining permission from your landlord or freeholder is essential for any alterations. Your lease agreement will stipulate the permitted scope of alterations within your shop.
By understanding these factors and obtaining the necessary permissions, you can proceed with shop front alterations confidently and in compliance with regulations. Planning Geek is here to offer guidance and support throughout your planning journey.
What is taken into consideration
When considering alterations to a shop front, it is important to understand the factors that planning authorities take into consideration. Seeking planning permission before making any changes to the form or style of a shop front is a necessary step.
The aim is to safeguard the conservation area and ensure that new and replacement shop fronts are designed to enhance the visual appeal and attractiveness of the street scene. Several key factors are taken into account:
Preservation of Architectural Character:
Within historic streets, preserving the architectural character and integrity of the area is paramount. Corporate colour schemes, styles, and logos that could have an obtrusive or overbearing impact are generally discouraged.
Similarly, the removal of traditionally detailed window frames and architectural features of quality is not encouraged.
Colour and Material Choices:
Shop fronts significantly contribute to the attractiveness of the building and the street. Therefore, colour choices should complement the building and harmonize with adjacent shop fronts.
Traditional materials are typically the most appropriate choice, ensuring consistency with the historical context of the area.
Window Area and Detailing:
The window area of the shop front is of great importance. Extensive areas of glass are generally not suitable for listed buildings or within conservation areas.
Attention to detail is crucial in maintaining the overall appearance and character of the building.
Design Elements of Traditional Shop Fronts:
Traditional shop fronts often have distinct design elements that reflect historical styles. Door designs typically match the shop front and often feature part-glazed doors with a lower kick plate.
Recessed doorways, common in Victorian and Edwardian buildings, create visual breaks in the shop front and provide additional display space. Decorative tiling is often found within recessed areas. Designers must strive for historical accuracy while ensuring that the resulting shop front harmonizes with its surroundings.
Conservation Area Shopfronts & Signage
Planning permission is required for external alterations to shopfronts, while advertising consent is needed for new, additional, or replacement signage. If a shop is part of a listed building, listed building consent may also be required. The council seeks designs that reflect the character of the Conservation Area and employ traditional materials.
Contemporary alternatives may be considered if they preserve the area's character and appearance. Grant-funded replacement shop front schemes must strictly adhere to the guidance on design, materials, signage, and security measures for traditional shopfronts.
Canopies or awnings over shop forecourts usually require planning permission, as does the use of the forecourt for sales or display purposes. Where a shopfront occupies multiple buildings or units, a clear division should be maintained, and the fascia should reflect this separation.
All advertisements must meet standard conditions of safety, cleanliness, and tidiness. Listed building consent is necessary for proposed advertisements on such buildings. Painted timber fascias are more suitable within Conservation Areas compared to acrylics and modern materials. Relief lettering may be applied where appropriate.
Bulky, internally illuminated box signs made from non-traditional materials are not permitted within Conservation Areas or on listed or locally listed buildings. The council may consider externally lit signage or internally lit individually mounted letters that create a halo effect. The size of lettering and logos should be proportional to the building's detailing, and lighting should be discreet to ensure night-time visibility.
While corporate brand identity is valued, companies may need to adjust the dimensions or arrangement of signage to suit the character and proportions of the building. Traditional hanging signs on timber or metal boards are preferable to solid projecting box signs, especially within Conservation Areas and on listed or locally listed buildings.
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