Changing a residence into a shop Back to Blog

Changing a residence into a shop

Changing a residence into a shop

If you want to change your residential property into a shop then you will, in all circumstances, require planning permission to do so. The process for changing your property’s usage is fairly simple, although to do so with a favourable decision, it is important to have a good understanding of the class system.

Understanding A1 and C3 classes

Residential properties are class C3 in the planning system and shops are class A1. Due to these property types operating in different classes, planning permission is required to convert one into the other.

The C3 class covers property used by a single person or a family as well as groups of up to six people (a typical example would be student housing). There is also class C4, which covers homes with multiple occupation, although due to the nature of the C4 class it is highly unlikely to be converted into the A1 class.

In the vast majority of cases, the success rate for being granted planning permission to convert from C3 to A1 is dependent on location. If your residence is currently located close to other shops or on a high street itself, councils deem the change more fitting than if your property is located within a purely residential area. In many ways, they will struggle to find the benefit to the community of your residence being converted if it is not located close to other shops or a high street.

Converting before you receive planning permission

Planning permission is not required before you begin converting your residence into a shop. However, if planning permission is refused at a later date, you will have to undo all of the work that has been carried out. For the sake of cost-effectiveness and a smooth process, we strongly recommend that you only carry out a conversion after being granted planning permission.

Listed building conversion

If you own a listed residential property that you would like to convert for shop use, you will require listed building consent from your Local Planning Authority.

For more information about changing your residence into a shop, please visit The Planning Portal.


The information contained within this article is strictly for guidance only.  Cost2Build recommends that you always check current sources of information in case regulations have changed. Cost2Build cannot accept any liability for miscommunication of the law in the case of a change in regulation or any action done to a property based on the information held in this article.

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