Last edited 08 Dec 2020



Approved document B, Fire Safety, Volume 2, Buildings other than dwellinghouses (2019 edition), defines the purpose group 'shop and commercial' as:

Shops or premises used for either of the following:

  1. to deliver or collect goods in connection with their hire, repair or other treatment
  2. (except in the case of repair of motor vehicles) where the public themselves may carry out such repairs or other treatments.

The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order, categorises uses of land and buildings in relation to the planning system.

Use class A1 ‘Shops’ is defined as:

Shops, retail warehouses, hairdressers, undertakers, travel and ticket agencies, post offices, pet shops, sandwich bars, showrooms, domestic hire shops, dry cleaners, funeral directors and internet cafes.

There is no equivalent 'commercial' use class.

The Scottish Building Standards, Part I. Technical Handbook – Domestic, Appendix A Defined Terms, defines a shop as: ‘…a building or premises used for retail or wholesale trade or business, including sales by auction, self-selection and over the counter wholesale trading, hairdressing and beauty or body care and premises to which members of the public are invited to resort for the purposes of delivering or uplifting goods in connection with cleaning, repair, hire or other treatment or (except in the case of the repair of motor vehicles) of themselves carrying out such cleaning, repair or other treatment.’

See also: Commercial premises definition.

NB In the construction industry, the term 'shop' might also be used to refer to workshops where products and components are manufactured, hence 'shop drawings'.

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