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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 18744
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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How can I turn office and storage area above my shop to a

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How can I turn office and storage area above my shop to a residential flat ?
What permissions do I need ?
What kind of process I need to follow ?

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I have been asked to look at this for you.

If the property is leasehold you would need the landlord’s consent. That is assuming the area is part of your lease. He would need to give consent for the work to go ahead and he would need to give consent for the application for planning permission. He is usually entitled to charge a fee for that and sometimes those fees can be quite high.

If the property is freehold or leasehold you are going to need building regulations approval and planning permission. That assumes there is no restrictive covenant preventing this development.

Start with getting an architect to draw up the plans in basic format to submit to get outline planning permission. If the outline planning permission is granted you can then spend the money on getting detailed plans drawn and submit those for approval.

Once you have detailed planning permission based upon the architects plans, you can then get quotes for doing the work.

You might want to use the architect to submit the application for planning permission and to project manage the whole job.

Even if you get planning permission and the work doesn’t go ahead for whatever reason, the property is worth more with the planning permission than without.

You have to have substantially started the work within 5 years of consent being granted otherwise the permission will lapse and you will be back to square one.

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F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 18744
Experience: I have been practising for 30 years.
F E Smith and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I dont have the lease yet to be honest ... my company runs the place for 2 years now but i decided to buy the lease and saw the oppurtunity. Although the above spaces are used for staff accomadation at the moment and i hoping a better rent income once i do a little bit of repairing and decorating. There will be no work going ahead.
My question now is , would i be in trouble if i go to the council and ask for permission while already people are living there under staff accomadation ?

There is nothing to stop you applying for planning permission with people living in the property because you have five years to start and unless they are assured tenants you can get them out on 3 months notice (normally two months but three months at present because of the virus).

If they are assured tenants (unlikely but you need to check) it is virtually impossible to get them out unless you offer them money to go (there is no statutory figure) or unless they stop paying rent.

Nonetheless, whatever they are, there is nothing to stop you applying for planning permission even if ultimately you don’t get them out.