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What does having an A1 shop mean?

The A1 use class comprises shops including post offices, ticket or travel agencies, shops selling sandwiches or other cold food for consumption off the premises, hairdressers, funeral directors, establishments displaying goods to the general public such as kitchen or double-glazing showrooms, hire shops serving the general public (as opposed to plant hire businesses, etc), dry cleaners, premises receiving goods from the general public to be washed, cleaned or repaired and internet cafes.

A1 shops have the following permitted development rights:

  • change of use of up to 150 sq metres to a dwelling (C3) and associated external alterations not enlarging the building. This provision does not apply in some areas including Article 1(5) land, i.e. land within a National Park, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a Conservation Area, an area designated under s41(3) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, the Norfolk Broads or a World Heritage Site. Prior approval is required for the change of use and the alterations. The change of use can only be refused on grounds of highways and parking, flood risk and the acceptability of losing the shop unit, provided there is a reasonable prospect of the building being used as a shop.
  • change of use to a “deposit-taker” within the A2 use class, i.e. a business carrying out regulated activities under Part 4A of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 including a bank, building society, credit union or friendly society. As soon as practicable after the change of use has occurred the developer must notify the planning authority that this change of use has occurred and provide them with evidence that it has, e.g. a photo of the premises showing relevant signage or evidence of regulation under the Financial Services and Markets Act.
  • change of use to a mixed use of A1 and up to two flats
  • up to 150 sq metres change of use to A2 (financial and professional services), A3 (food and drink) or B1 (business use) for a temporary two-year period. Your Planning Department or a planning consultant should be able to advise you on the procedures to be followed to take advantage of this provision
  • Small extensions and other alterations and some hardstandings may not require planning permission. Your Planning Department or a planning consultant should be able to advise on these provisions.
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