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A Guide to Commercial Buildings

What is a commercial building used for?

Commercial property is a space that allows you to use the space for commercial activities such as food service, retail, or any other business. Commercial buildings have been split into classifications designated into classes A, B, and C. 

Firstly, Class A buildings are usually newer construction properties with better amenities and infrastructure. However, this could be an older building that has been remodeled, they are usually located in a popular area. 

Secondly, Class B buildings are maintained and well managed. Not always a new build but can be easily transformed by some renovations. 

Thirdly, Class C buildings are often old properties, located in unbeneficial areas that are less maintained. Although, there are building that tends to need more work done. Landlords will charge less due to the work needing to be done. 

Classifications  

For example, classifications for each building:

Firstly, A1 – shops such as:  

  • Retail (not hot food) 
  • Post office 
  • Hairdressing 

Secondly, A2 – Professional services 

  • Banks 
  • Health and medical services 

A3 – Food and Drink  

  • Cafes  
  • Restaurants   
  • Anything that serves hot food 

A4 – Drinking establishments  

  • Bars 
  • Wine bars  

B1 – Business 

B8 – Storage and Distribution  

  • Wholesale warehouse 
  • Distribution centre  
  • Repositories 

C1 – Hotels  

  • Hotels  
  • Guest homes  

Finally, C2 – Residential institutions  

  • Boarding schools 
  • Training centre 
  • Hospitals  
  • Nursing homes  

Do I need planning permission?  

Furthermore, yes you would, it is essential that you have planning permission for commercial buildings.

When do you need commercial planning permission? 

You will definitely need to have planning permission if you intend to: 

  • Add an extension or large-scale renovation. 
  • Build a new property. 
  • Change the use of the building. For example, changing the use from commercial to residential or residential to commercial. 

Do I need Planning permission if I work from home? 

Using space in your home will not usually need planning permission. However, you should get planning permission if: 

  • Your business is unusual to be in a residential area. 
  • Your employees work from your home. (But are not occupants) 
  • The number of customers visiting your home increases. 
  • Your business could disturb your neighbours. 

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Design and Inspiration

Everything You Need to Know About Installing a Balcony

How much does it cost to add a Balcony? 

Depending on the complexity of the job would depend on the price. The estimated price of installing a balcony would vary between £1,500 – £5,500. 

The estimated cost would cover: 

  • Size
  • Design  
  • Labourer costs 
  • Material costs 
  • How complex the job is. 

Types of balconies  

  • Stacked – The most popular and common. Easy to install. 
  • Juliet/Faux – This is a faux balcony that may contain a small standing area but usually does not. A Juliet balcony contains a balustrade connection to the building without flooring to walk on. 
  • Hung – This structure is made out of stainless-steel cables that are fixed on the sides of the structure. These balconies are less common but have great strength. 
  • Cantilevered – This structure can be made from concrete, steel or timber. This type of project needs to be planned accordingly as the job is quite complex. 
  • Mezzanine – They have a large decking area with railing. This structure gives you more space. 

Do I need planning permission to install a balcony? 

Furthermore, if your home is in a conservation area or your property is listed you must apply for planning permission. 

In other cases, if your balcony is smaller than 300mm you may not have to seek planning permission but it is always best to do so. When submitting your planning application form expect to pay a fee. 

Installing a Juliet/Faux balcony means you won’t have to apply for planning permission unless you decide to add flooring to walk on and then you must. 

Will it raise my house value? 

There are no guarantees that this will raise the price value, but they have been known the raise the value up to 12%. 

What are balconies used for? 

In addition, balconies are used for extra space, kind of like an outdoor room. Many people like to use their balconies as a garden. For example, adding a barbecue or flowers onto it. Whereas, others like to use their balcony to admire the views the structure allows them to see and relax on it. 

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Advice Center

Planning Application Rejected? Here’s How To Resolve The Issue

If the authority refuses to give you permission for a planning application, they must give you a written reason explaining why it was denied.  If you are unhappy or unclear about the reasons for refusal you should talk to a member of the local authority planning department.  

Withdraw and resubmit –  

Withdrawing and resubmitting the application is the best option if something has come to light that could get your application denied. You should withdraw the application before it gets rejected. Then make the changes and resubmit.  

Apply for a planning application appeal –  

You can ask the local authorities that if changing the plans will make a difference.  You must submit your appeal within three months, if you have a major project, you have up to six months.  

However, the council will send you information on how to appeal. There are three ways of doing so – in writing, at an informal hearing, and a public inquiry. 

 Most councils will ask you to go down the in-writing route. You will get an informal hearing if there is a lot of public interest in the plans. A public inquiry will only take place for the most complex of cases.  

When appealing in writing you’ll need to write down all of the reasons why you think your application should have received planning permission. When writing you should be as detailed as possible and focus on the planning matters.  

Once this has been completed, a planning inspector will visit your home. The inspector will give his decision on the appeal within two to six weeks of the visit.  

Reasons your planning application can be refused –  

  • Protection of green belt land – local authorities are under clear instruction to strongly oppose any schemes involving potential harm to the openness of the green belt.  
  • Negative effect on character and appearance – this can be the most frequent issue. Projects that change the pattern of the houses are usually denied.
  • Loss of a family home – projects that want to convert a house into flats or non-residential places are a common reason for refusing this type of planning application.  
  • Overshadowing – you need to make sure your development doesn’t overshadow the neighbouring properties causing loss of light.  
  • Overlooking homes – causing loss of privacy. 

Accept the decision – 

Finally, your other option is to just accept the decision. Sometimes there will be circumstances in which your planning application will be denied. And there is nothing anyone can do about it.

You now know how to handle the situation, if your planning application is denied. Finding the best option is dependent upon the terms of refusal and on your determination to get what you want. 

If you would like some planning advice, get in touch.  

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