11 Jun Purchasing a business or property with a view to change use
Welcome to our June blog this month we are focusing on purchasing a business or property with a view to change use.
There are many factors that investors must take into account when purchasing a business or property with a view to change use. When applying to change use the developer will have to prove that the business no longer serves a purpose within the local community. The National Planning Policy 2018 states the following in relation to the change of use, “guard against the unnecessary loss of valued facilities and services, particularly where this would reduce the community’s ability to meet its day-today needs.” Additional guidance is provided by the District Council Planning Policy which is centered around retaining community facilities.
With the number of Pubs that have permanently closed their doors over the last 20 years there is good reason for the change of use criteria to remain challenging. We don’t believe that any local communities welcome the closure of Pubs and there are many that come together and purchase their local pub as a Community Asset, to avoid permanent closure.
However, there are cases where the pub is no longer viable. The pub trade has changed considerably over the past 20 years. With consumers behaviour changing pubs need to be adaptable, and able to provide a wide choice of products including food, entertainment, letting bedrooms, function space etc etc. In most cases it will be the inability to adapt due to physical restraints within the fabric of the building or site that will have the biggest impact, this will affect the business being able to compete with businesses in the surrounding area. Over the next couple of years indoor space and garden space will be a premium with social distancing laws being applied.
Before you purchase a business or property with a view to change use, it is best to get an independent viability study completed by an expert in the field, this will save money and time in the long run. Our independent viability studies have been used to retain a community pub in Gloucester and in the conversion of a pub to a children’s day nursery.
Further information on the National planning policy can be found by following this link National Planning Policy Framework