Planning Change Ushers In Restaurant Refurbishment Challenge

From the beginning of September, changes to planning will see use classes A1 (shops), A2 (financial and professional services), A3 (restaurants) and B1 (offices) merged to create a new Class E. This will enable use of these spaces to be altered from one use to another or undergo change to multi-use venue without seeking consent from local authorities.

The simplification of planning creates several fascinating new opportunities. For pop-up and permanent restaurants, the opportunity is clear, especially for restaurant chains that have specialised in refurbishing existing High Street buildings. That said, the impact of Covid-19 on the restaurant sector cannot be discounted, so it remains to be seen how the demand for new restaurants in city centres will play out. There is strong evidence to suggest that ‘stay at home’ workers are now looking for more local venues to eat out, instead of opting for city centre locations which typically would have been a popular destination for commuting workers. This has the potential for rapid development of restaurants in more suburban locales where available properties have typically been former pubs. Pubs themselves remain exempt from these planning changes, and should a restaurant utilise one of these new spaces then it will require permission from local authorities to operate takeaways or to sell alcohol from the premises. Other locations could adopt a multi-use model, shifting from business space in the day to restaurant in the evening, or operating a full time mixed-business usage within a larger building.

These changes are seen as a key opportunity to revitalise the High Street, but the one thing we know well at Adveco is the potential complexity, and therefore hidden cost, of refurbishing a property when the site was not originally conceived as a restaurant. Landlords and new property owners need to recognise that heating and especially hot water are business critical functions, with suitable hot water storage needed to meet consistent and peak-hour demands. That water also must be supplied at a minimum of 60°C to ensure a hygienic cleaning of the environment, utensils and provide handwashing for both staff and customers.

Adveco has 50 years of experience delivering commercial heating and hot water refurbishment projects. We will size the needs of the premises, design a bespoke application, and supply the necessary system components, and ensure it is commissioned for use and serviced to manufacturer’s quality as part of the warranty.  You can discover more about our recent work refurbishing systems in listed buildings and our work for Five Guys revitalising building hot water systems throughout the UK. In all these cases, our customers are not only securing modern, highly efficient fit-for-purpose heating and hot water systems, they are also reducing their costs and either better controlling their carbon emissions or excising them with renewables for a more sustainable workplace.