My enthusiasm to redevelop my store got the better of me, as I brought in my builder before all of the paperwork had been confirmed.
I had arranged some top-up funding through Barry Frost of Commercial Plus. When Barry arrived at the store with the application forms, my builder was in the unit next door doing some preparatory work. Here is how Barry’s help ensured the project could progress successfully.
I have to say that I was mortified to learn that I needed to have so many approvals from the local authority and the landlord.
These are the approvals and licences that Barry told me that I need:
- Change of use planning permission for the new space from ‘office’ to ‘A1 retail’.
- Planning permission for our externally sited remote compressors.
- Planning permission for our new shop front.
- Planning permission for the new fascia signage.
- Building regulation approval for the proposed internal building changes, including removal of the dividing wall between the two shop units.
- An amendment to my alcohol licence to add in the new shop floor space.
- A licence to alter from the landlord.
Barry also said that the heads of terms for the new space need to be rewritten as well as getting the new lease satisfactorily constructed.
Dealing with difficult times
I found the situation hugely stressful. My dream of getting my new store up and running by early summer just evaporated.
To help me get out of this situation, Barry proposed that he organise a site meeting with my architect, the landlord’s agent and local authority planning officer. He also proposed a pathway of events to ensure that the permissions and licences are obtained before I sign the new lease.
I readily agreed to Barry’s offer to act as project manager on this part of the scheme and he will manage the paperwork trail that will be required to be completed before I can start the physical development of the store.
Worth waiting for
Obtaining the additional approvals and finalising the lease is likely to add an extra three months to the time scale, but getting it right will mean that when I sell the business at some stage in the future the paperwork will be in good order.
Adding Barry to my team has taken a huge burden from my wife and I. It just goes to show that while I think that I am a good retailer there is much about store development that I have yet to learn. Paying for that missing expertise is well worth the expense.
Catch up with part 1 and part 2 of Jai’s journey to redeveloping his store.