Planning Changes Could See More Pop Up Shops

The government is mulling over whether to relax England’s planning laws in a way that would allow temporary businesses, or pop up shops, to set themselves up in business more easily.

The changes would mean that shops and other “low-impact” units could open their doors for business on sites in High Streets across the land that would otherwise be vacant.

Essentially, landlords could change an empty retail unit’s use for up to two years before full planning permission was needed. The proposals are a response to a report from retail expert and TV star Mary Portas.

And the move would take away the restrictions limiting what kind of business a shop can be used for, which can be a barrier to retail start-ups’ success.

After all, as the recession bites, affecting even some established chains, the number of empty stores is on the rise, along with the increase in rents, business rates and material costs. All of this has meant that, in recent year, thousands of businesses have closed their doors in town centres across Britain. (The current vacancy rate is over 10 %.)

Pop up stores have transformed the High Street and the world of retail design, breathing new life into vacant units until permanent tenants can be found.
And there have been some intriguing ones, from a bank to a dating website to a mobile phone retailer coping with demand for a newly released Smartphone.

So expect these retailers to pop up in greater numbers in future. And, if you’re thinking of setting up in retail yourself, it could be easier than ever.