Whether you are thinking to expand or set up your first or fifth dental practice, it can be a very daunting experience. While you will have given much thought to how you will fund , fit out and eventually staff your new practice, you may not have given any consideration to how the planning permission process can also have an influence on your future plans.
It is important that you familiarise yourself with the planning process especially in relation to Dental practices which fall under D1 use category. Prior knowledge of the requirements can save a lot of time, hassle and help you avoid making costly decisions.
It is always good to check the use class of any potential new practice building with the local planning department as it may help your decision making process. The D1 use class covers clinics, health centres, crèches, day nurseries, day centres, schools, art galleries (other than for sale or hire), museums, libraries, halls, places of worship, church halls, law court. Education and training centres are included as long as non-residential.
If your chosen building has a D1 use allocation already this can save you dealing with the lengthy permission process, but do bear in mind any structural works, extensions etc. that you may wish to carry out may require additional planning consents.
If you are interested in a property that does not currently have the required D1 use class, you should always proceed cautiously with acquisitions and any lease negotiations should be subject to gaining the required D1 use. Rushing into any contracts before establishing whether you can reasonably get the change of use required for a dental practice could prove to be a very expensive mistake.
As of 30th May 2013, there have been additional changes to permitted development rights, so it is important to check how these regulations will affect any future plans as there is a provision to allow D1 uses to be used in more flexible ways. More details can be found on the Planning Portal website.
For any more information about how we can help with your planning needs or more advice you can check out our website under planning applications.