extending commercial premises

Extending your commercial premises can accommodate the growth of your business in several ways, providing space for more inventory, an increased number of staff and / or larger manufacturing processes. While extending can be a good investment and a profitable undertaking, the planning process can often be complex to navigate. Below is a summary of some of the considerations your business will need to take into account.

Permitted Development

If you want to alter or extend an industrial building or warehouse, then this is considered to be permitted development and you shouldn’t need to apply for planning permission There are however several limits and conditions to this.

You may not alter or extend your building higher than five metres if it is within ten metres of the curtilage boundary. If this isn’t the case then the alteration or extension cannot be higher than the building that you are altering or extending.

This differs slightly for new industrial buildings and warehouses, but we are just dealing with extensions and alterations in this article.

The development must be within the curtilage of the industrial building or warehouse that is being altered or extended.

There are also restrictions on floor space, for example the gross floor space mustn’t exceed 150% of the original building. If on designated land, however, then it may not exceed 110% of the existing building and if it is on a site of special scientific interest then it may not be more than 125% of the original building.

In addition to these conditions, the alteration or extension mustn’t involve the development coming within five metres of the curtilage boundary. There can also be no development within the curtilage of a listed building.

If your extension or alteration is taking place on designated land then you must use materials similar (in external appearance at least) to those used in the existing warehouse or building. The extension or alteration must relate to the building’s existing use or otherwise be for the provision of staff facilities in the case of a warehouse extension, or if it is an industrial building then it may also relate to research and development of products or processes. There are further rules with regard to providing staff facilities, particularly if hazardous materials are present.

Additionally, if space that is currently available for parking or turning vehicles will be reduced, then this won’t be permitted development.

Planning Permission

If your commercial alteration or extension doesn’t fall under permitted development then you will need to get planning permission. If you have any doubt at all as to whether the works would fall under permitted development then you must check with your local planning authority to make sure. This could involve applying for a Lawful Development Certificate to ensure that your proposed development is legal and doesn’t need planning permission.

If all of this sounds complicated, then why not let MSK Designs assist? Our extensive knowledge of the planning process as well as other policies and regulations related to extending commercial premises enables us to make the process as efficient as possible for you. We also provide other commercial architectural services allowing us to advise you on related commercial building and development projects. Give us a call today to find out how we can help you.

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