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SH7  Upper Floor Uses in Retail Premises  Policy

The Local Planning Authority will permit the conversion of upper floors above shops for office uses or for residential uses not covered by permitted development rights, subject to access, parking, servicing, amenity and shop security considerations and the compatibility of the proposed use with neighbouring upper floor activities.

Reasoned justification :

16.34 One feature of many shopping centres has been the long-term increase in service uses, particularly on the upper floors of existing premises. More recently, attention has focused on encouraging the re-use or conversion of upper floors for residential use. As well as providing an additional source of accommodation, such uses within a shopping centre can make an important contribution to it’s vitality, particularly during the evening and when shops are closed.

16.35 At the same time, it is important that satisfactory access and parking provision is made, and that any proposal will not be detrimental to amenity, both of neighbouring users and future occupiers, where residential conversion is proposed. In addition, any proposal should not compromise the security requirements of the ground floor use.

16.36 An amendment to the General Development Order, which came into force in 1995, now means that the conversion to a single flat of part of a building in use for Class A1 (Shops) or Class A2 (Financial and Professional) purposes no longer requires planning consent. Similarly, changes from Class A2, to Class A1 plus one flat, are now also permitted development.