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  /    /  Planning


In the UK, the licensing and planning systems operate independently, involving consideration of different, albeit related, matters.

  • Planning is the regime that is directed at development of land and the use of premises upon it.
  • Licensing, on the other hand, is the regime that is directed at licensable activities and responsible management of licensed premises upon that land.

However, several applicants come to The Licensing Guys EVERY WEEK with Planning issues that impact upon their Licensing aspirations.  The most common of these is that their current Planning Permission does not let them operate their business down an avenue that they want to branch into.


The most common types of Planning permission we encounter at The Licensing Guys are:

  • A1: Shops
  • A3: Restaurants and Cafes
  • A4: Drinking Establishments
  • A5: Takeaways

As examples:

Some customers come to us wanting to convert a Shop into a Takeaway or a Restaurant into a Bar.

Sometimes our customers find that their Planning Permission only allows them to stay open until 22:00hrs at night, yet they now want to provide a 24hrs Convenience Store with Off-Licence facility.

In these circumstances, the customer will need to apply for a change of use or a change in condition(s) regarding their Planning Permission.


Here at The Licensing Guys, we have teamed up with partners who know all about Planning Permissions and how to change them.  So far, we have successfully obtained Planning Permissions for:

  • Restaurants & Bars
  • Car Washes and Car Valeters
  • Car Dismantlers

So, if you want advice, simply call us.  Planning & Licensing issues are far too important to rely on what somebody told you down the Pub.  The web is full of conflicting advice too.  Just call us – our advice is always free!  We will provide an obligation-free quotation on what it will cost you to alter your Planning Permission/Permitted Uses.


The overwhelming majority of our Planning applications are processed without the need for any form of Planning Hearing.  This is because we know, from our vast and current knowledge, what steps need to be taken for your application to be granted with the minimum of obstacle and delay.

In the event that parties (sometimes your neighbours or neighbouring businesses) do object to your application, then we will represent you at any Planning Hearing for an additional fee at a fraction of the price of a solicitor.  That said, these Hearings are very rare and we are invariably successful at them.

If you instruct us to act on your behalf, we will contact the Planning Authority and other parties in order to negotiate your position.  We will also prepare and submit your plans and application, and will represent you at the forthcoming Planning Hearing if required.

We will ALWAYS give you an honest appraisal of your prospects, and act in your best interests to grow your business and keep you “keep you legal and trading.”